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Email scammers masquerading as the government have been... Email scammers masquerading as the government have been targeting New Yorkers (Courtesy of Sophos).
A scam that could've been developed by a kid on his bedroom computer is conning drivers into believing they owe money on an old New York State speeding ticket.

According to MSNBC, the scammers are sending out emails that say the driver got a "uniform traffic ticket from New York state. It looks legit -- the return address is @nyc.gov. But opening a zip file to pay the bill puts a Trojan horse virus on your computer, which could allow hackers to track your private information like credit card numbers and passwords.

"It wasn't very sophisticated as they spammed it worldwide, rather than narrowing the focus to the U.S. or even to New York," said Beth Jones, senior threat researcher at computer security firm SophosLabs US. "It easily could've been some kid in his room who wanted to see if he could make some 'easy money' from hard-working folks."

Because red-light cameras and speed detectors are so prevalent these days, it's no longer uncommon to get nabbed with a ticket in the mail.

The email tells recipients to print up the attachment and send it to Chatam Hall, a seemingly plausible New York name.

Many people outside of the U.S. are rejecting the email immediately.

"I got 4 of these today," Marike van Breugel wrote on Sophos' Facebook page. "Considering I live in Thailand it seems absurd. Can't the spammers sort by country even?"

Another commenter, Tracey Lister, found similar humor.

"I've had 2 of these," she wrote. "Thought they were funny as I can't drive never mind go to New York."

Jones said this scam was different simply because of its subject matter.

"For the most part, scammers have stuck to relatively standard tricks," like asking people to pay invoices for FedEx bills or opening an IRS tax bill, or some other kind of scam, Jones said. "It was the first time they tried something like a speeding ticket."

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  • 123 Comments
      glers
      • 3 Years Ago
      A guy once sold a 100% guaranteed Cockaroach killer, send $5, the man sent back 2, 4" x 4" wood blocks, one had an A on it the other a B the instructions said place roach on block A smash with block B
        Tammy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @glers
        I remember back in the 60s or late 70s my mom sent off for a solar clothes dryer, operated soley on the power of the sun. Well, it came. A ten foot piece of nylon rope and a dozen cheap plastic clothes pins. We STILL laugh about that one!
        rjackson2a
        • 3 Years Ago
        @glers
        Actually, that would have been perfectly legal. He actually provided a product that would do what was advertised.
      jlcroadie
      • 3 Years Ago
      P.T. Barnum's famous saying "There's a SUCKER born every minute." rings true for 99.99% of these scams! I get one of these, it's DELETED instantly for several reasons: #1, it's been 10 years since I was in NY State (Statute of Limitations is 5 years!), #2, I didn't drive a car while in New York (used city transit) and #3, where I live doesn't acknowledge tickets/violations from NY State! I get at least 10 messgaes a day with "Notification of Inheritance" or "Dear Friend" in the subject line. I forward them to a 'junk-mail address' I have on a free email account and reply to them from there. My replies are as vulgar and racist as I can make them; especially the ones from Nigeria! On the ones that claim a relative has passed away and I'm the sole beneficiary, I ask how they know this since the surname they used is not my right name. I claim I was either adopted and have no clue who my family is OR, I say that the family surname was changed after WW2 so family members would be tried as Nazi war criminals. I check the bogus email address once a week and DELETE everything in the in-box!. NEVER reply to a scam mail as it confirms the email address IS used.
      Chris Young
      • 3 Years Ago
      Man find these guys and hang them from their balls. I doubt law enforcement will follow up on this scam. They rarely do. I had a fake money order I received in the mail. I had most all of the scammers information and neither the cops or the banks could be bothered with investigating the issue. Remember for the most part cops and banks are LAZY! Thats what the criminals cound on and for good reason.
      • 3 Years Ago
      AS LONG AS THERE ARE IDIOTS ...SCAMMERS WILL CONTINUE SCAMMING....YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THERE ARE SOME VERY NON STREETWISE PEOPLE WHO YOU COULD LITERALLY SELL THEM THE VZ BRIDGE.....
      rwilkerson4
      • 3 Years Ago
      I received that email in the last year. I knew that I had not been to NY so that it had to be false. I did call NY DMV and discussed the email with them. they were aware of the problem but could offer no real help other than not to respond to it.
      Sheila
      • 3 Years Ago
      Someone that I work with got one of these. He gives his email address for work on Facebook. I believe that is the problem.....Facebook.
      LL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wasn't even aware of the existence of penny auctions until about 6 weeks ago. Now I can't imagine buying anything other than food or clothing anyplace else. My favorite is at ( HTtp://tinyurl.com/AuctionDeals ) It took me a few days to figure out how to bid but now I am savings big bucks there. How they can sell iPads, Macbooks, HDTVs, Digital Cameras, Gaming Consoles, and more for steep discounts of 75%, 80%, or even 85% off retail price, I don't know. I do know that I bought my son an iPad there for less than $100 and my husband a $250 Loews gift cards for $48. Why would I shop anyplace else
        atragon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LL
        But it cost you $1000 to bid, right?
        dickn2000b
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LL
        Reported as abusive.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LL
        I already replied to this post but it was not published. I wrote not to go to the URL in LL's post, as it will probably give you an unexpected gift, either malware or a virus.
      dvdsn61
      • 3 Years Ago
      You would really have to be pretty naive to fall for this. The first question that would come to mind for me, is how did the police get my email address from a traffic camera.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dvdsn61
        ..and you just forgot that scammers know that " ... a sucker is born every secons in this country" and that " cuorisity is what killed the cat". How many persons do you think they just send uknown origins e-mails directly into the ..."Garbage mail"? or can not pass up what it seems a deal to ggod to be true and send money to those Nigerians who could not find an occupation in the sea pirating business they have?
      rwilliamhoward
      • 3 Years Ago
      The 'Tax Camera' tickets are not really valid citations. When they are delivered by the post office, they lack VALID SERVICE. Unless it's SIGNED and SERVED by a police officer or a judge you can basically ignore it. If you are not served in person for 60 days, (check this in your own state. The time frame may be different) discard it.
        colfla
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rwilliamhoward
        And when you try to renew your license-SURPRISE there is the ticket, which must be paid in order to be allowed to renew, good luck with that one,.
      Paul
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wish I could send a nasty virus to all the scam emails get almost every day.I have won or inhereted millions of dollars,dell computer,ect,ect.The latest ones give some story and/or tell you to open the attachment which of course you never want to do.
      evonie55
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thank goodness Los Angeles got rid of these red light camera's . They did little in preventing accidents, And most were given on right hand turns. During the day you couldn't see it, but when dark, just the car stopping, or rolling on the lines caused a fury of flashes. Just another scam for these companies to profit from, cuz the cities and counties sure are not.
        pcfriar66
        • 3 Years Ago
        @evonie55
        I thought right turns on red were legal. That is, as long as you xcome to aa stop. In fact, wasn't Calif one of the first states to mak it legal?
      shreak
      • 3 Years Ago
      anyone care to bet theres a cop behide the scam...a cops moto....to protect and service my fellow officer
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