Bay Area FasTrak Scam Text

    Bay Area FasTrak Scam Text
    iStock

    Earlier this year we reported on toll road scams targeting would-be victims in Oregon and Pennsylvania. Now the same scam is occurring in California, with scammers disguising themselves as the FasTrak toll authorities.

    How the Bay Area FasTrak Scam Works

    Victims receive a text message claiming their vehicle has been recorded using a FasTrak Express Lane. The message warns of impending late fees and directs recipients to a website where they can supposedly settle their balance. However, this website is a carefully crafted forgery designed to capture sensitive information. Scammers exploit the fear of accumulating late fees and the desire to resolve potential legal issues quickly.

    BayareaFasTrak Text Scam
    FasTrak Scam Text Message. [Source: Reddit]
    BayareaFasTrak Text Scam_2
    FasTrak Scam Text Message. [Source: Reddit]

    The two most common FasTrak scam text templates are as follows:

    • “Your vehicle has been recorded using the FasTrak Express Lane. To avoid a bill with excessive late fees of 46.70$, kindly settle your balance of 4.67$ at [website]”
    • “A balance of $3.95 has been detected on your account for using the FasTrak Express Lanes. To prevent additional charges, please settle the payment by March 27, 2024, using [website]”

    Sample scam FasTrak web addresses:

    • bayareafastrakservices[.]com
    • bayareafastrak-help[.]com

    Notice mistakes and strange wording in the texts. The dollar sign in the wrong place, “kindly”, referring to their own fees as “excessive”, “Lanes” instead of the correct “Lane”. In addition, the texts refer to two different websites — but legitimate correspondence would lead only to one central webpage.

    FasTrak Text Scam: What to Do

    If you follow the scammers’ lead and go to their phishing website, you will be asked to input personal and financial information. If you provide this sensitive info, your financial life will be in their hands. Upon users’ submission of information, the scammers acquire the necessary data to engage in widespread financial fraud and identity theft. They can swiftly exploit stolen credit cards, establish new fraudulent accounts, file bogus tax returns, and perpetrate various crimes using victims’ identities.

    The FasTrak authorities have provided a warning about the scam, which you can find here. As they state: “FasTrak does not request payment by text with a link to a website.”

    Best advice, if you receive a payment demand supposedly from an official body, then get in touch with that body directly. And generally speaking, if you’re not expecting a charge, it’s probably suspicious. In addition:

    • Stay Cautious: If you receive such a text, pause and verify its legitimacy. FasTrak will never ask for payment via text message.
    • Check Official Sources: Visit the official FasTrak website (bayareafastrak.org) directly (not through any links in the text) to verify your account status.
    • Report Scams: If you encounter a scam, report it to the relevant authorities.
    • If you have made a payment already, you should contact your bank or credit card company immediately to report the charges.

    Protecting Your Identity and Personal Info

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    Why not give it a go today? As always, we hope this article has been an interesting and/or useful read. If so, please do SHARE it with family and friends to help keep the online community secure and informed — and consider leaving a like or comment below. Here’s to a secure 2024!

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    • By Jacqueline Korsak | June 29, 2024
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