Thieves Target Drivers, Leaving Them With Bills For Tolls On Roads They Didn't Take

NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) — Imagine receiving a bill for hundreds of dollars in fines for tolls you never actually drove through.

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Friday, thieves are targeting E-ZPass customers in a new scam that may impact thousands of drivers.

Millions of drivers use E-ZPass because it’s cheaper and fast. But this popular convenience caused Debbi and Mark Vonberg a major inconvenience when they received fines in the mail.

The couple said they recently received 11 tickets for running E-ZPass tolls on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tickets with fines totaling more than $600, Brennan reported.

Only, the Vonbergs say they never drove on the Turnpike, and the pictures on the citations showed a vehicle they don’t own.

“This is ridiculous. It’s cut and dry, literally black and white. The truck is white. My truck is black,” Mark Vonberg said.

The Vonbergs said the white truck running the tolls was using a copy of the same temporary license number as the black Jeep they had recently purchased for their daughter, Brennan reported.

The thieves forged their temporary tag number and used it as their own.

“They can go to any laser printer and it prints out on a white piece of paper, which is what the temporary tag is a white piece of paper with bold black letters,” Mark Vonberg said.

The New Jersey Coalition of Auto Retailers said its received dozens of similar complaints from dealers in the past few months.

The Vonbergs disputed the fines with E-ZPass and the company agreed to dismiss all 11 violations. Now the family says they want others to be aware.

“Really when I tell you that car has not gone anywhere but to the corner and back it is, it’s concerning,” Debbie Vonberg said.

Most of the violations happened after the Vonbergs turned in the temporary tag for a permanent one. So why was the tag still active?

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission wouldn’t answer that question but told CBS 2 they are committed to “protecting their customers.”

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