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Watch Out For the Newest Email Scam—Almost-Real Speeding Tickets

Some residents of the Philadelphia suburb Tredyffrin have reportedly been receiving emails notifying them of fictitious speeding tickets, and directing them to pay at a link that triggers a malware download.

So far, ho-hum, in our crazy cyberpunk futureworld. But there’s a lot more going on here, because, according to Tredyffrin police, the targeted drivers were actually speeding at the places and times indicated in the emails they received.

Think about that for a second.

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Investigators suspect that the detail-oriented masterminds of this plot hacked a GPS-enabled smartphone app to obtain the location data and find actual speeders to target. So far, according to Philadelphia Magazine, only three local residents have reported receiving the emails.

This raises all kinds of questions. Most email scamming is based on mass volume and low success rates, but it’s hard to say how scaleable something this precisely targetted could be. Maybe whoever’s behind this is trying to invert the email scam paradigm, spooling exceptionally convincing bait out to a relative handful of people.

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There may be one unanticipated roadblock to their plan, though—Tredyffrin apparently doesn’t have speed cameras, and real cops issue all citations in person. That could set off alarms for townies receiving the scam emails.

Tredyffrin police are also doing those targeted by the scam a big favor and not issuing them real tickets, despite their apparent confessions.