Fraudsters Pose As State Agency Online

The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles warns the public to be aware of an e-mail spam that recently surfaced. Fraudsters are using the department’s name and e-mail address,, to send e-mails that appear to be from DHSMV. The e-mails look like receipts from online transactions with the department and include confirmation and tracking numbers. The numbers are not DHSMV tracking numbers, and the e-mail addresses of the recipients did not come from DHSMV’s database.

An indicator that the e-mail is fraudulent is that it comes from two senders: and another address that varies and may look like a personal e-mail address. All department e-mail addresses contain as the domain, and DHSMV does not send transactional receipts from personal e-mail addresses.

If you receive one of these e-mails and did not make a recent transaction, DHSMV recommends deleting the message. If you have already opened the message, do not click any of the links within it. The e-mails are not from DHSMV, and the links embedded within take recipients to non-DHSMV web sites that may contain malware.

DHSMV wants the public to understand its system has not been hacked, and it has numerous measures in place to protect customers’ information. Rather, this is a type of spam where an e-mail is made to look like it is from a trusted source and aims to trick the recipient into following a link that will lead to a web site with malware. The name for this type of spam is “phishing.”

The department offers the following recommendations for all computer users: update anti-virus software daily; update systems and programs (such as Adobe Flash, Java, browsers and operating systems); be extremely wary of unexpected e-mails that contain links or attachments, and do not click on the links or open the attachments; and concerned users should change all passwords using a clean computer, especially passwords for financial institutions (both personal and corporate banking accounts).

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