A fresh wave of scam text messages claiming to be from toll company Linkt were sent out last week, tricking unsuspecting drivers into giving up their credit card information.
One message says “LINKT: You have a toll trip on 28/08/2022 was not charged promptly [sic]. Please settle up payment, or you will receive a penalty notice”.
Another scam message reads that “upon inspection, you were found to have a $5.83 outstanding highway bill”.
At the bottom of the texts are a link to a website, which is now offline, on which was a written notification about a toll of $5.83 which needed to be paid.
When you click the payment button, it takes you to a standard payments page with fields for name, credit card number, expiry date, and security number.
Watch out for scam text messages.
One scam victim, Phil – not his real name – was unlucky enough to have entered his information before realising what he’d done.
“During the transaction it even sent an authorisation SMS to my phone, and I stupidly typed the special code into the screen,” Phil said.
“Straight after my mistake I rang the credit card provider to cancel my Mastercard.
“But two days later I found three dodgy transactions from Target Parramatta and Target Chatswood on my card, with a total of $1,200.”
The screen asking for payment.
The scammers had been buying gift cards, Phil later discovered. On Monday morning when Phil got to work, he was surprised to find another victim.
“I dropped into the boss’s office to tell him about the scam and he was on his mobile phone finishing a Linkt payment transaction himself. He'd already entered his credit card number,” Phil said.
“He told me he was making the payment in response to an SMS and when I looked at it I saw it was the same scam.”
Phil and his boss aren’t alone in falling for the Linkt scam.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) told Information Age its Scamwatch arm had received around 2,000 reports on the Linkt scam between January and September this year.
A combined $112,000 has been reported lost – a figure that doesn’t cover losses not reported to Scamwatch.
The ACCC has reminded the public to be careful about clicking on links in unexpected text messages and to keep an eye out for typos and spelling mistakes. Awkward wording is also a giveaway.