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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > December 2011 > Scam alert: phony traffic tickets

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Scam alert: phony traffic tickets


Ohioans should beware of the “Uniform Traffic Ticket” scam, in which consumers receive emails stating that they have been caught speeding on camera.

In the scam, a con artist emails the consumer a link, allegedly a copy of the traffic ticket to fill out and mail in. The scam artist uses the name of a legitimate police department in an attempt to give some credibility to the scam in order to persuade the victim to click a link or download an attachment.

The file is believed to have a Trojan horse or other unknown viruses embedded in the message. The Trojan horse allows attackers to gain access to a victim’s computer system, allowing the attacker to add more malicious files and viruses.

To protect yourself, beware of unsolicited emails asking for money or urging you to click links or download attachments. Don’t trust emails saying you must pay a traffic ticket. When in doubt, contact the police department using a number you know is valid.

When putting personal information online, make sure the website is secure by checking the web page URL and locating the “s” in https and also locating the “lock” icon somewhere in the window of the browser.

Additional tips:

  • Use anti-virus software, firewalls, and other security measures.
  • Open emails from familiar sources only.
  • Change passwords frequently.
  • Back up important files to external storage devices.
  • Be vigilant when downloading from the Internet.

Report a potential scam to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or by calling 800-282-0515.