• 123
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."

Related Video:

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 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
        • 3 Years Ago
        But it cost you $1000 to bid, right?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Reported as abusive.
        • 3 Years Ago
        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.
      • 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
        ..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?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Red Light tickets. That's a way bigger scam than this!
        • 3 Years Ago
        I agree, you should ALWAYS face your accuser, that involved a officer getting off his lazy butt and showing his face in front of yours to write a violation!
      • 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.
        • 3 Years Ago
        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,.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have gotten all this stuff too Fed Ex the FBI banks and some of it looks very legit Have to be very careful of what you do
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if anyone actually paid.
      • 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.
        • 3 Years Ago
        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?
      • 3 Years Ago
      anyone care to bet theres a cop behide the scam...a cops moto....to protect and service my fellow officer
      • 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
        • 3 Years Ago
        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!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Actually, that would have been perfectly legal. He actually provided a product that would do what was advertised.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've gotten a bunch of these in my AOL account. A little common sense. 1. I do not live in NY 2. Even if I did have a ticket from there, they would not have my email. 3. Government entities always send it to you by US mail or serve you in person, they are not going to do this in email
      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
      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.
    • Load More Comments