Beware the Linkt toll scam ⚠️ At least $112,000 lost so far
A fresh wave of scam text messages claiming to be from toll company Linkt sent out last week, tricking unsuspecting drivers into giving up their credit card information.
One message says “LINKT: You have a toll trip on 28/08/2022 was not charged promptly. Please settle up payment, or you will receive a penalty notice”.
Another scam message reads that “upon inspection, you were found to have a $5.83 outstanding highway bill“.
At the bottom of the texts are a link to a website, which is now offline, on which was a written notification about a toll of $5.83 which needed to be paid.
When you click the payment button, it takes you to a standard payments page with fields for name, credit card number, expiry date, and security number.
Example of the Linkt toll text message.
Example of the email with outstanding payment owed.
One scam victim, Daniel – not his real name – was unlucky enough to have entered his information before realising what he’d done.
“During the transaction it even sent an authorisation SMS to my phone, and I stupidly typed the special code into the screen,” Daniel said.
“Straight after my mistake I rang the credit card provider to cancel my Mastercard. “But two days later I found three dodgy transactions from Target Parramatta and Target Chatswood on my card, with a total of $1,200.”
The scammers had been buying gift cards, Daniel later discovered. On Monday morning when Phil got to work, he was surprised to find another victim.
“I dropped into the boss’s office to tell him about the scam and he was on his mobile phone finishing a Linkt payment transaction himself. He’d already entered his credit card number,” Daniel said.
“He told me he was making the payment in response to an SMS and when I looked at it I saw it was the same scam.”
Daeniel and his boss aren’t alone in falling for the Linkt scam.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) told Information Age its Scamwatch arm had received around 2,000 reports on the Linkt scam between January and September this year.
A combined $112,000 has been reported lost – a figure that doesn’t cover losses not reported to Scamwatch.
Linkt emails its customers to state they are aware of the scam
Linkt have recently responded by emailing their customers stating that they are aware of the current campaign by scammers, with some tips on how best to identify if it is a legitimate email from Linkt. In the email, Linkt wrote, “While many of these scam texts come from unknown mobile numbers, we’re aware that some texts use a spoofing technique that makes the message appear as if the sender is Linkt or Transurban.”
“Our Cyber Security Operations team is working with telecommunications providers to identify and block phone numbers sending these texts. If you receive a message from someone claiming to be Linkt or Transurban that doesn’t seem quite right, delete it and do not click on any links. We will never ask you to reply to an email or SMS with your financial or personal information, we will always ask you to log in to your account via linkt.com.au or the Linkt app. To see known scams or report a scam visit linkt.com.au/scams.”
The ACCC has reminded the public to be careful about clicking on links in unexpected text messages and to keep an eye out for typos and spelling mistakes. Awkward wording is also a giveaway.
7.30 Report (8 minutes) • From text messages to fraudulent ads, how scammers are draining bank accounts
To ensure you are up to speed on how best to identify email or SMS scams, read our articles below:
- Investment scams most successful with people aged 55 to 64
- How to check suspicious email links on your mobile or tablet
- Tricks to help you identify potential email scam attacks
- 8 tips to avoid falling victim to cybercrime
- Australia’s 3 biggest cyber threats that target over 60s
- The 3 most common types of investment scams
- Aussies over 65 become the largest group of victims being scammed
Sections of this article were first published by Casey Tonkin of ACS Information Age.
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