Scamwatch: New speeding ticket fraud

Scamwatch: beware new speeding ticket fraud
Scamwatch: beware new speeding ticket fraud

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, how fraudsters are trying to trick drivers by sending out emails telling them they have been caught speeding.

How does it work?

Police around the country have issued warnings about a new speeding ticket email scam that is doing the rounds.

The message, titled Notice of Intended Prosecution and featuring a logo, reads: "In accordance with Section One of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 we hereby inform you that it is intended to take proceedings against the driver of motor vehicle."

It then offers recipients the option of checking the photographic evidence of the offence by clicking on a link within the message.

Anyone doing so is opening themselves up to a malware attack that could compromise their computer, tablet or smartphone, while those who respond to the message are likely to be asked for money by the fraudsters.

How can I avoid being caught out?

The police do not send out emails about speeding offences, so if you receive an electronic message about one you can be sure it is a fake and should be ignored.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that the notice must be served 14 days after the alleged offence in the form of a physical letter sent via first class post."

Correspondence from your local police force would also display its logo, not the one.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

If you are worried because you have clicked on a link embedded within scam email, you can check your device for malware using a free online scanner such as this one from ESET.

Then report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of a speeding ticket, you can also call your local police on 101.