Consumer Alert: No, you don’t have a toll bill. That text message is a scam!

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – March 7 is national Slam the Scam Day. That’s the topic of this Consumer Alert. In a Zoom press conference, state leaders sounded the alarm about a number of government impersonation scams that always tend to circulate at tax time like IRS and social security scams.

“Social Security does not promise to increase the benefit amount in exchange for money, said Odily Bonilla, a New York spokesperson for the Social Security Administration. “Social Security will never call you to tell you that your benefits will be immediately terminated because you didn’t pay us. We will never ask you to pay for your debt in cryptocurrency, gift cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. And most importantly, we will never threaten you with arrest or to take legal action against you because you do not agree to pay us immediately.”

Another impersonation scam is the New York State Thruway Authority text message scam below. You’ll remember that, this week, the Thruway Authority warned New Yorkers about fake text messages that say they have an outstanding toll balance. It then tells you to click on a link to pay.

Sure enough, a News10NBC staffer got the scam. So, I decided to do some digging. One fake website the crooks, appears to have been taken down. But another scam site,, is still operating. The site looks official, complete with logos for E-ZPass and the Thruway Authority. The first page of the site asks for your name and birthdate. No matter which fake name I typed in, it always claimed I owed $12.20, an amount most folks would probably just pay without further investigation.

After getting your name and address, you’re taken to this page which asks for your credit card information. The Thruway Authority will never ask for personal information like your date of birth. When the scammers collect that as well as your credit card information, they’re stealing not only your money, but also your identity.

Below is an actual text message from the Thruway Authority. The real website to pay your tolls is here.

While the version of the scam circulating right now is a phishing scam, thieves sometimes send links that unleash malware on your device. So, if you get a text scam, never click on the link. Delete it.