Be careful if you receive an email informing you about a parking ticket.
The City of Vernon says it may be a new way to scam you out of money.
“We have recently seen some interesting ones, where an official looking email is sent indicating that the individual owes money to a municipality or private parking contractor for a parking ticket,” says Clint Kanester, Manager of Protective Services.
The email includes a fine amount, options to pay by credit card, and links to photos claimed to have been taken by a bylaw officer.
Photo: Example of email phishing scam
Kanester says municipalities do not send out emails for payment in this manner.
“The hope is that when someone sees they owe money, they will just pay it using their credit card or they will click on the picture link to see if it actually was their vehicle,” says Kanester. “Clicking on the link may download a virus or malware that can you’re your computer or records, putting your personal information at greater risk.
Kanester says a good way to determine if an email is false is to hover your mouse pointer over the email address or the link to payment or photo sites.
“You should never click on a link without knowing exactly where it is going,” added Kanester.
To report a suspicious email, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1-888-495-8501 or visiting the website at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca
March is fraud prevention month.