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E-ZPass Warns Of Phishing Scam E-Mails About Unpaid Tolls

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other agencies were cautioning the public Tuesday night about a phishing scam disguised to be a warning about unpaid tolls.

An example of the email shows a subject line, "In arrears for driving on toll road." The body of the email shows what appears to be the E-ZPass service center logo, along with the following message:

"Dear customer,

You have not paid a toll for driving on a toll road. This invoice is sent repeatedly, please service your debt in the shortest possible time.

The invoice can be downloaded here."

A link to download and pay an invoice follows.

The bottom of the email shows a series of links including "phishing policy." But E-ZPass said it doesn't want those who receive the email to be fooled.

The email is not authorized by E-ZPass, the Port Authority or any other toll agency associated with E-ZPass, the agency said.

"We advise customers in receipt of this email not to open or respond to such a message. The safest thing to do is to delete the email," the agency said.

Jersey City commuter Rafael Rios told CBS 2's Tracee Carrasco he was among those who received the e-mail.

"I received the e-mail today, and it drove me crazy all day," Rios said.

But Rios did not fall for it.

"I said, 'No way,'" he said. "I actually made a call today for that."

Rios said driving through E-ZPass lanes is a routine part of his day.

"I go through the toll -- it says, 'Paid,' I go through," Rios said. "It's very simple, but I didn't expect this."

The Port Authority said the real E-ZPass Service Center does not send emails to notify people of unpaid tolls. Any invoices will be sent through U.S. Mail.

Drivers have been advised to be on alert.

"I really don't pay attention to that stuff because I use the E-ZPass so much," said limo driver Mo Arani.

Several other agencies, including the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, have also issued warnings about the scam. They said it is an attempt to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or credit card details -- targeting anyone who uses an E-ZPass.

Anyone with questions about whether a message from E-ZPass is real is asked to call the E-ZPass New York Customer Service Center at 800-333-8655.

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