The Congestion Charge Scam

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that scammers are just as good as anyone, if not better, at keeping up with technology and finding new ways to make it work for them.

One of their favourite money-making schemes is the tried and tested scam email.

Using spoofed email addresses, these solicitations often they look like they’ve come from a particular person or company when, in actual fact, they haven’t.

Congestion-charge-scam

One such email scam doing the rounds at the moment has been spoofed so that it appears to have originated from Transport for London, the office that deals with the London congestion charge.

It is believed that thousands of people may have received emails that claim to be from the ‘Collections Department, City of London Congestion Charge’ which state that the recipient has been photographed driving in the London area and is now required to pay a fine ranging between £80 and £120.

Here is a very recent example of such an email –

Dear Mr xxxxxxxxx

Can you please confirm you were the driver of xxxx xxx on the 6th December at 11:24 am as this vehicle is showing as not having paid the congestion charge.

Please click below to see the photographic evidence.

The fine for non payment of the congestion charge is £80.

If payment is made within 2 weeks the fine is reduced to £40, if after 2 weeks payment is not made the fine reverts to £80, if payment is still not made within 28 calendar days the fine increases to £120.

Collections Department,
City of London Congestion Charge

As you may imagine, the registration number does not usually match the recipient’s vehicle but that doesn’t prevent some people from being caught out regardless.

The email is, of course, completely bogus and she be ignored.

Do not click on any links contained in the email either as these will likely take you to some sort of phishing website.

If you do receive such an email then Transport for London (TfL) has issued the following advice –

´We are currently aware of an email hoax which asks people to confirm if they were the driver of a vehicle seen in the congestion charging zone and asking for payment.

TfL is investigating this misleading scam and we would urge anyone who receives an email of this type not to respond to it and delete the message immediately.´

´TfL encourages all customers not to respond to any unsolicited emails that ask for personal details and also not to provide personal information unless you are sure who you are giving it to.´

´Any email message from the Congestion Charging team will show the official Congestion Charging website address and will also come from the Customer Services team.’

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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