If you get a phone call or email from an alleged police officer or other government official about a red light camera ticket, immediately dismiss it's authenticity.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) September 27, 2011
In addition to fighting the high fines associated with red light camera tickets, California drivers must beware of another type of red light camera worry. It's one of the newest types of identity theft scams and it comes as a phone call from a government official impersonator, demanding payment for an alleged red light camera ticket said to have never been paid. TicketKick, California's leading resource for traffic ticket defense, specializing in red light camera tickets, aims to help inform and protect drivers from these types of scams by publishing blog articles and social media alerts and offers free consultations over the phone. As more and more cities in California utilize red light camera systems, it can be confusing for people to know what are legitimate tickets that they must respond to, and what could be considered a scam.
The red light scammer may ask for the driver's personal information such as their name, driver's license number, address, social security number or credit card number. They may threaten to suspend the person's license unless they pay the caller immediately for the alleged ticket fines over the telephone or by providing a credit card number through email. Drivers should be clearly aware of the differences of the ways scammers use fake red light camera tickets to trick people, and how the court system really works.
California law sets specific rules and guidelines for the cities to follow when issuing red light camera tickets. Real red light camera tickets must be issued by a qualified police officer and mailed to the address on the vehicle's registration. It would have the driver's information, courthouse information, a due date, and a fine amount due. It would also have a signature by the officer who issued the ticket, and a certificate of mailing. Neither the courts nor the police department contact drivers via phone or email about a traffic ticket or court case. They must correspond by mail to have a paper trail and follow the state guidelines.
TicketKick's founder and president, Greg Muender, shares a few tips on how to avoid getting scammed, and what people can do if they think they may have fallen for it:
"If you get a phone call or email from an alleged police officer or other government official about a red light camera ticket, immediately dismiss its authenticity. Do not give any personal information to the caller such as your name, address, driver's license number, or credit card number. If you are concerned about a possible red light camera ticket you may have never received, contact the courthouse directly, or check the status of your driving record with the DMV. If you think you may have fallen for the scam, contact the police, your credit card company, and the credit reporting bureaus."
Another type of red light camera scam may actually come directly from the police department. "Snitch tickets" are notices issued by the police in an attempt to get the recipient to give up information who was driving the vehicle in the red light camera photos so that they can issue a real ticket and file it with the courthouse. Snitch tickets are not real tickets and do not result in any consequences if ignored. Drivers can detect such a fake ticket by examining the following that may or may not be listed on the notice: Does it have courthouse information? Does it say something like, "Do not contact the court about this notice?" Does it have a due date or a fine amount due? Real red light camera tickets generally have all of this information, snitch tickets do not.
Drivers who ignore real red light camera tickets that are filed with the courthouse can expect severe penalties. TicketKick urges all to fight their red light camera tickets, regardless of whether they think they are guilty or not. "Real red light camera tickets are serious matters, but fortunately, they are some of the easiest for us to beat," Mr. Muender added.
TicketKick is a registered Legal Document Assistant in California, providing self help services to beat traffic tickets, with a similar service model to companies such as LegalZoom and E*Trade. TicketKick works with attorneys in California in developing their defenses, which utilize many different arguments and tactics. TicketKick’s goal is to help people get their traffic tickets dismissed, maintaining about a 70% success rate, and offers a full refund and a free consultation for guilty verdicts. TicketKick representatives can be reached at (800) 580-1902, at ticketkick.com, or at questions(at)ticketkick(dot)com.