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NY troopers warn of e-mail hoax ticket and computer virus

By Nina GolgowskI, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York State Police say a hoax e-mail is telling recipients they have a ticket
  • The file is believed to actually carry a computer virus
  • Even some people who've never been to New York state admit they opened the e-mail

New York (CNN) -- A hoax e-mail circulating nationally appears to carry an attached traffic ticket by New York State troopers, but it is believed to really carry an unknown computer virus, according to state police.

E-mails sent primarily to Yahoo accounts direct recipients to open an attached zip file to access a copy of a traffic ticket that they're supposed to fill out and return to a town court. An unknown type of virus is believed to be attached to the file, which is currently being analyzed by the state police computer forensics lab, according to a news release from the New York State Police.

Police warn the e-mail's subject line may contain the line, "UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET," with the message accusing the recipient of a violation of "speed over 55 zone" on July 2.

Many who reported the hoax to scamtrends.com -- a site that lists user-submitted online scams -- say they don't live in New York state and have never visited it. Nonetheless, some still opened the e-mail file, later to post, like one user:

"Oh my God, i did try my best to download it but it didn't work ... I never been to New York in my life and they are already issuing me a ticket?"

Police ask that recipients of the hoax e-mail delete the e-mail it and not forward it. They advise computer users to activate anti-virus software, firewalls, and take other security measures, only opening e-mails from familiar sources.

 
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