Virginia State Police warn of email traffic ticket scam

WASHINGTON — Virginia State Police are warning commonwealth residents to be wary of scammers posing as police and sending emails about traffic tickets.

Several Virginians have received an email with an “automated traffic ticket” from Virginia State Police. The email lists the traffic infraction, notes that the ticket requires a court appearance and directs ways to pay the ticket, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said. The department was made aware of at least seven cases involving the email, Geller added.

“The Virginia State Police does not use or issue digital/automated traffic tickets or summonses,” Geller said in a news release.

Police say anyone who receives the email or something similar should delete it and should not click on any of the links in the email.

Last month, Virginia State Police warned residents of a separate scam where its phone number was cloned and scammers threatened individuals with arrests warrants if they didn’t pay them. If you receive a similar call, hang up, police say.

Here are some tips from the U.S. government to make sure you’re not a victim of an email scam:

  • Never open or click on a link in an email from an unknown email address, individual or organization. To check the validity of an email, locate the entity’s website and call to determine if it is a legitimate email. The same goes for an individual.
  • Never give out personal information, credit card numbers, bank account information, etc. to an unknown individuals or entities via the phone or email.
  • Don’t reply to the email itself. Instead, forward the email to the Federal Trade Commission at
Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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