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Phone Calls Demanding Payment of Traffic Fines Are a Scam

Photo, Wathiq Khuzaie, Getty Images

The Maine Secretary of State’s office is warning Mainers of yet another phone scam. The person on the phone identifies themselves as being from the Department of Motor Vehicles and demands immediate payment of fines.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says this is yet another way scam artists are trying to get money and personal financial information from Mainers. The caller tells the potential victim that they have unpaid fines with the Department of Motor Vehicles and, if the fines are not paid immediately, their driver’s license will be suspended. Obviously, this is a frightening threat for most people who rely on that license to work, get to the grocery store, and transport their children.

The caller then tells them they can pay the fines immediately, over the phone. Dunlap says the DMV will NEVER contact you this way. It’s a scam and the best thing you can do is to hang up the phone immediately. Don’t even get into a conversation with the caller. Just hang up.

Another scary aspect to this scam is that your caller ID will show ‘Maine DMV.’ That’s a new practice scammers are using called ‘spoofing.’ They have computer programs that can hack into what your called ID says. So, if you get one of these calls, don’t trust the caller ID. And don’t use that number to try and call back to see if it’s a legitimate call.

It bears repeating that you should never give any personal information over the phone on a call that you did not initiate. If you call the electric company, for instance, to pay your bill, at a number you took off the bill, then that’s one thing. But if someone calls you and asks for your credit card number, social security number, or even your mother’s maiden name, hang up.

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