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Florida Attorney General Warns of Toll Smishing Scams and Takes Down Fraudulent SunPass Websites

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody held a press conference in Orlando on Thursday morning to address the rising concerns over toll smishing scams and announce significant actions against fraudulent SunPass websites. Toll smishing, a form of phishing through text messages, has become a growing threat, aiming to deceive individuals into sharing sensitive information or sending money to cybercriminals.

Moody described toll smishing as a deceptive tactic designed to achieve three main objectives: diverting funds from legitimate sources such as the Department of Transportation or SunPass organization, stealing personal and financial information, and potentially installing malware on victims’ devices. The term “smishing” is a blend of “SMS” (short message service) and “phishing,” indicating its utilization of text messaging technology for malicious purposes.

Highlighting the severity of the issue, Moody referenced a recent warning from the FBI, which received over 2,000 complaints regarding fraudulent text messages related to toll payments. These messages, often appearing urgent and demanding immediate payment, prey on unsuspecting individuals who may fall victim to the scam.

Taking swift action against this threat, Moody’s Cyber Fraud Enforcement Unit collaborated with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to identify and shut down more than ten fraudulent websites masquerading as legitimate SunPass platforms. These websites, bearing URLs similar to the official SunPass website, aimed to deceive users into providing sensitive information or making unauthorized payments.

During the conference held at the Florida Department of Transportation’s Turnpike Enterprise Headquarters, Moody emphasized the importance of vigilance and urged individuals to report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to 7726, a number conveniently spelling out “SCAM” on a phone’s keypad.

Joining Moody were Deputy Commissioner Shane Pollard from the FDLE and Secretary Jared Perdue from the Florida Department of Transportation. Their presence underscored the collaborative efforts between law enforcement agencies and government departments to combat cyber threats and protect citizens from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

Moody concluded by reaffirming the legitimacy of the official SunPass website (www.SunPass.com) and advised users to exercise caution when interacting with online platforms or responding to unsolicited text messages. By raising awareness and taking proactive measures, authorities aim to safeguard individuals and uphold the integrity of online transactions in Florida’s toll collection system.

 

 

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Patrick Zarrelli

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