KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo police are warning about a new scam that targets drivers. The scam email was even sent to a few law enforcement officers, who immediately sounded the alarm.
“We’ve had other officers, detectives who received them. One of our crime analysts received the same thing,” said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Acting Chief David Boysen. “So again, it’s going around. I’ve talked to other people in the community that have seen those too.”
Boysen, who also received the scam, says the email claiming to be a traffic ticket looks legit, with supposed violations broken down by line item.
“There were no grammatical errors. And then it also hit on speeding in a construction zone,” Boysen added. “We all know that if you drive around Kalamazoo, there’s construction everywhere, so I think that people be like, ‘That could’ve been me. I could’ve been speeding in a construction zone.'”
Another trap is the email address itself. The scam comes from a ‘@usdot.gov’ address, which is actually fake. The Federal Department of Transportation’s address is ‘@dot.gov,’ while those with the Michigan Department of Transportation are ‘@michigan.gov.’
Boysen said scammers are stepping up their game.
“Just because it comes from a website that looks official, don’t just automatically click on the link. Make sure if you have any questions, maybe look up that number to that particular agency and call them direct just to check,” Boysen said.
The scammer also used “recorded by traffic camera” as the basis for the fake violation. Currently, Michigan state law doesn’t explicitly allow law enforcement to issue mailed citations using traffic cameras.
Boysen urges anyone who receives the scam to not click on the link. He says they should report the email to the FBI’s Internet Crime and Complaint Center and delete it.