Did you get a text about unpaid road tolls? It could be a 'smishing' scam, FBI says

The FBI has issued an alert warning of a new SMS scam targeting road tolls.

In an alert posted April 12, the FBI said it had received over 2,000 complaints reporting smishing texts representing road toll collection services in at least three states, claiming people owe money for unpaid tolls. According to the FBI, the scam may be moving from state to state.

An example of the scam text people may receive reads as follows: "(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 https://myturnpiketollservices.com to settle your balance."

The texts contain almost identical language, but the link within the text is changed to impersonate the state's toll service name, the FBI says. Phone numbers also appear to change between states.

What is smishing?

Smishing is a "a social engineering attack using fake text messages to trick people into downloading malware, sharing sensitive information, or sending money to cybercriminals," according to the FBI.

The term comes from a combination of the words "SMS" and "phishing."

What to do if you receive a toll road 'smishing' text

If you receive one of these texts, the FBI suggests to do the following:

  • File a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and be sure to include the phone number where the text originated and the website listed in the text.

  • Do not click the link in the text, and be sure to check your toll account on the legitimate toll service website. You can also contact the toll service's legitimate customer service phone number.

  • Delete any smishing texts.

  • If you did click the link or provide any information, the FBI recommends to take efforts to secure your personal information and financial accounts, and to dispute any unfamiliar charges.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: SMS phishing, toll road scam called 'smishing' targeting ezpass users