Australian drivers are being warned about a new SMS phishing scam hacking into motorists’ personal and financial information.
Transurban’s e-tag tolling brand Linkt has reported that customers have “recently reported receiving SMS messages that direct users to click a short url”.
“Our cyber security operations team is working with telecommunications providers to identify and block phone numbers sending these texts,” a company spokesperson said.
“These scam texts are being sent to the general public, including people who may not have an account with Linkt.”
Scamwatch revealed it received 14,585 reports of road toll scams in 2022, with reported total losses of $664,093.
While many of the text scams come from unknown mobile numbers, some are using a spoofing technique that makes the message appear as if it was sent by Linkt.
Some customers who have clicked on the SMS’ hyperlink have reported that they have been directed to a “very convincing” fake Linkt website.
“They may ask you to log in or have fields that ask you to put in or search for an invoice number,” a company spokesperson said.
“Check for common signs of phishing sites like spelling errors, poor grammar or urls that do no start with https://www.linkt.com.au.”
Linkt has reassured its users that “there has been no breach, access, exposure or theft of any of their personal information in any way”.
“Recipients receive a text message or email with a link that directs the recipients to pay a bill or provide information via a website with the toll operator’s branding,” an ACCC spokesperson said.
“Consumers can search for debts via the road toll operators’ official websites by entering the licence plate … they should always check before paying.
“Consumers should never click on links in text messages.”
In January alone, there were 5832 reported SMS phishing scams, costing Australians $915,843, with the most targeted group being those aged over 65.
Around 30 per cent of phishing scam victims reside in NSW, 27 per cent in Victoria and 19 per cent in Queensland, meaning less than a quarter of total phishing scams target those in the remaining states and territories.
Customers who receive a road toll phishing text should not interact with the SMS link or website and are advised to take a screenshot and report the incident to Linkt immediately.