Consumer Alert: FBI Warns of Text Scam Targeting Toll Road Users Across Multiple States

Anonymous hacker at laptop

The FBI has issued a warning about a new phishing scam that targets Americans using toll roads via SMS text messages. The messages typically claim that the user’s toll account is overdrawn with a link to the hacker’s site to make a false payment.

Enterpreneur reports that the FBI has received over 2,000 complaints across three states from individuals claiming they were contacted through text messages and told they had unpaid toll fees. The agency estimates that this “smishing” scheme, a combination of the words “phishing” and “SMS,” has been active since early March 2024.

Smishing scams involve using fake links to trick victims into downloading malware, sharing sensitive information, or sending money to cybercriminals. In this particular case, the fake messages allege that the recipient has an outstanding toll amount and provides a link to settle the balance to avoid late fees.

One example of the fraudulent message reads: “(State Toll Service Name): We’ve noticed an outstanding toll amount of $12.51 on your record. To avoid a late fee of $50.00, visit to settle your balance.”

While the FBI did not specify the three affected states, the Pennsylvania State Police issued a warning to residents and visitors earlier this month, confirming that Pennsylvania was one of the targeted states. The organization advised that similar scams have been reported by toll agencies across the country in recent days. A Breitbart editor in Illinois received the scam text, as did two other family members.

Victims of this scam are encouraged to file a complaint online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and include the phone number that the fake message originated from, as well as the link used in the message. It is also recommended that victims delete any “smishing” texts they have received and verify their actual toll balance using the legitimate website or customer service of their toll service provider.

As smishing scams continue to evolve and target various industries, it is crucial for individuals to remain vigilant and cautious when receiving unsolicited text messages. Verifying the authenticity of the sender and avoiding clicking on suspicious links can help prevent falling victim to these increasingly sophisticated scams.

Read more at Entrepreneur here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.

Authored by Lucas Nolan via Breitbart April 20th 2024