Plead or Pay: New Traffic Ticket Scam

June 10, 2017

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles has issued press release warning consumers of a new phishing scam. The release indicated that consumers received emails claiming that their license would be revoked if they did not pay outstanding traffic violations immediately. Here is the text of the email:

“Dear Driver:

We are writing to inform you that the state police department has notified us that you have several outstanding traffic violations.  If you do not make restitution for these infractions within 48 hours, we will be forced to revoke your driver’s license.

To make payment arrangements online, click here.

To refute these tickets, click here.



While this particular phishing attempt was targeted toward New York residents, it can be easily duplicated in any state, so be on the alert for emails like this showing up in your inbox. The goal of this email is to scare you into clicking on the links that will ask for personally identifiable information or download malicious code onto your computer. The first thing to remember is that the DMV will not send you a notice by email to pay for a traffic ticket. At minimum, you will receive a notice of your infraction by mail. Here are tips to help identify a phishing email from a real one:

  • The Salutation is generic. Legitimate companies will personalize email communications to their customers, especially if it concerns account issues.
  • The use of fear and threats (license revocation) if the recipient doesn’t act immediately.
  • Hover over the links in the email without clicking them. In the case of the traffic ticket scam described above, the links go a different website that is not a .gov site.
  • Don’t click on any attachments that may accompany an email from someone you don’t know.

If you receive an email like this, simply delete it. Be sure to keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up to date, along with any operating system updates. Doing so will help safeguard your computer against malware, should you accidentally click on a malicious link or attachment.

Learn more at DMV Warns Consumers of Fake Ticket Email Hoax Meant to Collect Personal Information.

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit