Ohio Turnpike warning E-ZPass customers about email phishing scam

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BEREA, Ohio -- A warning has been issued for all Ohio E-ZPass customers and the public.

The Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission announced Wednesday that criminals are posing as turnpike employees and asking for money.

“This is a classic phishing scam, because both E-ZPass customers and non-customers are being targeted,” said OTIC Interim Director Robin Carlin.

More than 150,000 people use the electronic tolling system in Ohio, because it offers a discounted rate on tolls with no stopping at the booths.

A transponder records the fares, and cash is automatically withdrawn from an established account.

Turnpike officials say the criminals have been sending “official” looking but bogus emails to people informing them of an alleged problem with their payments.

One driver named Mark told Fox 8 that the email looked legitimate at first, but then he thought otherwise.

“I realized that since I’ve got a credit card posted with the turnpike -- they don’t need to email me, all they have to do is hit my credit card one more time,” said Mark.

He reported it, as have many other drivers in multiple states including: New York, New Jersey, PA, Virginia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

The FBI’s CyberCrimes Division is monitoring the situation and asking anyone who received the fake email to not open it, but report it right away online at the Internet Crimes Complaint Center.

Anyone with a question about a suspicious call or email can call the Ohio Turnpike Customer Service Center directly at (440) 234-2081, ext. 1075.