CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Irene Read was ready to cut the check. A $57 bill with large lettering arrived in her mail last week, indicating it was her final notice to even-up on an unpaid toll. Everything about it looked legitimate.
"But what threw the red flag is I haven't been to Miami," Read told WINK News anchor Cayle Thompson.
"It's 57 dollars," she said. "I don't have a problem paying $57 if I have a violation, but I don't."
The bogus bill is the newest scam to target unsuspecting drivers, whether or not they use any of Florida's toll roads. Officials with the Lee County Department of Transportation were notified of the scam on Friday.
"It does look like a bill," admits Susan Hopwood, operations manager for LeeWay tolls. "But there are a couple of indications that there is something wrong."
The fake bills tell intended victims they owe seven dollars for a missed toll, and an additional 50 dollars in presumed late fees. But Hopwood says there is a lot of information missing.
"It should say which bridge you violated on," Hopwood told WINK News. "It should have the license plate number. It should have a picture of the vehicle, or at least give you very specific details about the trips and what you owe. None of that is on here."
The bogus bills claim to come from Toll Enforcement LLC of Miami, but the numbers listed on the paperwork only lead to recordings asking you call back at another time.
The Florida Department of Transportation is aware of the scam and investigating.
"It's just very sad that honest people are getting scammed all the time by dishonest people," Read said, glad she didn't fall for the scam. "I don't like writing checks anymore for this reason."