Warning of a new scam
CREATED Dec. 19, 2011
TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has issued a warning to its customers about websites that have been luring people into paying a fee to access DHSMV’s online motorist services. The official-looking website requires customers to pay a surcharge for their assistance. DHSMV does not require a surcharge for any of its websites. The Department posts fees on www.flhsmv.gov.
The way the scheme works is the owner of the site creates this look-a-like website asking users to pay a fee just to get through to the website.
“To say the websites are misleading is an understatement,” said DHSMV Executive Director Julie Jones. “They provide small disclaimers that state they are not affiliated with the Department and then proceed to charge customers anywhere from $25 to $50. It is an unbelievable racket.” However, the websites add a disclaimer that they are not affiliated with the Department or government of any kind, so what they are doing technically is legal.
“The Department wants to arm our customers with information about these illusive websites so they are not duped into paying unnecessary fees of any kind,” Jones added. “The websites are legal, but unethical.”