How to Spot Scammers Impersonating the Florida DMV

2/22/2013

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Have you received a confirmation email for a driver's license renewal or vehicle registration transaction you never made? It's a scam! A new phishing scam poses as a confirmation email from the Florida DMV.

How the Scam Works:
 
You receive an email that appears to be a confirmation message from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The email supposedly confirms your recent driver's licence and vehicle registration renewal.
 
The message looks completely legitimate. It contains the purchase ID and tracking number and even appears to come from a "flhsmv.gov" email address. There's just one problem. You don't live in Florida, and you don't have a driver's license there.

The email urges you to visit a website if you have any questions about the transaction. The link given appears to lead to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles at "fldhsmv.gov." However, if you click it, you'll find yourself at a third-party website meant to download malware to your computer.  The malware used in phishing scams typically scans your system for personal and/or banking information, opening you up to risk of identity theft.
 
How to Spot a Phishing Email:  

  • Don't believe what you see. Scammers can make links look like they lead to legitimate websites and emails appear to come from a different sender.  It's also easy to steal the colors, logos and language of established organizations. 
  • Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. Do not click on the links or open the attachments.
  • Check a link's true destination by hovering over it and looking in the lower right hand corner of your browser.
  • Rather than clicking on the link in the email, try Googling the organization instead. This should take you to the real website, where the organization may have posted information about the scam.

 For More Information
 
Visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website to learn more about the scam and read the department's press release on it.  
 
To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.

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