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Scam Alert: FasTrak Text scam

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Update 7/13/2024 Post updated to include a new text message and sender number.

It looks like this scam is back again. My mom had this text this morning.

The text was from 263-788-9017.

The message was similar to the original text but instead of it requesting $4.67 it’s now $7.99 and the late fee is $79.90.

Our records indicate that your vehicle has used the FasTrak Express Lane. To avoid additional charges of $79.90, please settle your balance of $7.99 at https://tollsbayareafastrak.com

FasTrack Scam text 7/13/2024

What I found out about the phone number

Like with the previous text message the area code is based in Canada. 263 is stated to be from the Montreal area.

So that’s a dead giveaway of it being a fake. All of the FasTrack websites have postings about this scam. If you use FasTrack, you can check your account for any balances or fees.


Original post-June 25, 2024

Any info cited for this post was found via a general online search.

I had a new text scam this week. It was for a FasTrack stating I owed a balance.

What’s FasTrak

For those of you who don’t know what FasTrak ( source the toll roads of Orange County) is. It’s a toll lane(s) on local Freeways in California. You can pay electronically using a transponder you place on your windshield.

The text message

The sender

The number that reached out to me was the following:

709 749 5620

The message was sent around 5 am.

Fast track scam text phone number. 709 749 5620
709 is a Candian area code.

The text message

The text message was pretty straightforward and to the point. It wanted you to click on a link to pay a small balance that was stated to be owed.

Your vehicle has been recorded using the FasTrak Express Lane. To avoid a bill with excessive late fees of 46.70$, kindly settle your balance of 4.67$ at https://bayareafastrakservices.com

Smishing text message
Smishing scam text message. text reads as folllows: Your vehicle has been recorded using the FasTrak Express Lane. To avoid a bill with excessive late fees of 46.70$, kindly settle your balance of 4.67$ at https://bayareafastrakservices.com
This looks legit but it’s not.

The balance amount is laughable

I found it funny that they requested a payment of under $5 ($4. 67 to be exact.) If you didn’t pay they threatened a late fee of $46.70. I also thought it was odd that they placed the dollar sign at the end of the money amount.

Here’s the thing for those who aren’t aware FasTrak payments vary throughout the day. I’ve seen some rates as high as $20.

I don’t understand how they came up with nearly $50 worth of late fees, to be honest. But I’ve also never used FasTrak so I don’t know how the fees are calculated if there is a balance owed.

Another thing I found funny was that the text message was directing you to the Bay Area Toll Services website.

I don’t live in San Francisco or the Bay Area so I knew it was a scam.

What I learned about the area code

The area code of 709 is not in the US. It’s Canadian. New Foundland and Labrador according to Wikipedia.

This has been proven as a scam

The Sonoma County DA office posted about this back in March (2024). I also found a notice on The Tolls of Orange County website. So it’s targeting all FasTrak services in CA.

What kind of scam is this?

This would be considered a Smishing (Merriam-Webster definition) scam. Smishing is when a text or email is trying to entice you to click on a link to collect personal info.

This scam was certainly hoping someone would click the link and fill out the form to pay the stated balance. This would in turn collect credit card information along with your name and possibly email address.

Don’t fall for it

If you use FastTrak check your account directly. Don’t click on any links.

Let’s spread the word about this Smishing scam.

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