If your next weekend getaway or summer vacation involves driving, that may mean stopping and paying tolls. What’s even more unfortunate is that the bad guys realize this and have figured out yet another way to try and scam you. RELATED: FBI Warns Travelers Not to Do This – Here’s What to Do Instead

Road trip on a California highway.The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has just issued a new warning of a smishing scam. If you’re not familiar with the word, you’re probably already familiar with the scam.

According to Merriam-Webster, smishing is “the practice of sending text messages to someone in order to trick the person into revealing personal or confidential information which can then be used for criminal purposes.”

The FBI says: “since early-March 2024, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has received over 2,000 complaints reporting smishing texts representing road toll collection service from at least three states. IC3 complaint information indicates the scam may be moving from state-to-state.”

The new scam works like this: “The texts claim the recipient owes money for unpaid tolls and contain almost identical language. The “outstanding toll amount” is similar among the complaints reported to the IC3. However, the link provided within the text is created to impersonate the state’s toll service name, and phone numbers appear to change between states.”

If you receive one of these smishing texts, the FBI suggests you do the following:
1. File a complaint with the IC3, www.ic3.gov, be sure to include:
a. The phone number from where the text originated.
b. The website listed within the text.
2. Check your account using the toll service’s legitimate website.
3. Contact the toll service’s customer service phone number.
4. Delete any smishing texts received.
5. If you clicked any link or provided your information, take efforts to secure your personal information and financial accounts. Dispute any unfamiliar charges.

I get smishing texts almost every day. They’re usually from people pretending they’re reaching out to someone else. Sometimes they say they just found my number in their contacts and can’t remember who I am. I take screenshots of the messages, like the one below, and then delete them. I never click the links.

I guess I can’t say ‘never’ because I did get hacked a few months ago and I’m not sure how it happened. There’s a chance I did click one of these text links and they got ahold of my personal information. It’s been a doozy combating them so whatever you do, don’t respond and definitely don’t click any links from suspicious people. Heck, I don’t even click links from my siblings sometimes since I’m not sure if they were hacked or not. It’s getting more and more important to be as vigilant as possible to safeguard your personal information.

More Scams to Watch Out For:

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