This weekend I received a strange piece of mail. When I opened up my box yesterday I immediately noticed my newest TIME magazine issue and an orange envelope that carried my Halloween card from my parents. Not so noticeable was a white business envelope underneath the other two pieces. I almost discarded it in the garbage can at my apartment complex, thinking it was one of the numerous unmarked envelopes I receive from magazine companies all the time asking me to re-subscribe. However, before I could toss it in the trash I noticed that it had a curious return address.
A letter from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles? Hmmmm…this is quite strange. I was so intrigued/confused that I opened the letter up in my vehicle.
As I read the letter I had a sense of bewilderment mixed with anger as I scanned it from top to bottom. The document was titled NOTICE OF IMPENDING DRIVER LICENSE SUSPENSION & CONVICTION. It informed me that I had received a ticket in Brooklyn this past August for driving with tinted glass windows. It notified me that my privilege to drive in New York would be suspended in mid-November because I failed to appear to answer to the ticket. It went on to further say that if I did not pay up by mid-December I would be automatically convicted of the charge and I would be fined even more money.
Of course the absurdity of this all is that I have never driven a single mile in New York in my life, let alone this past August. In fact, I have only been in the state once before. I visited New York City seven years ago and we used the subway for our transportation. The tinted glass accusation is just as laughable. Out of the three vehicles I have owned in my life, not one has ever had tinted windows.
I wanted to immediately write it off as a scam but I couldn’t. The envelope and the letter has the New York DMV web address written on it. The physical address checks out. It seems official. The correspondence contains my accurate address and birth date.
With that said, there is plenty of sketchiness as well. Nowhere on the letter can you find my social security number, my vehicle information, or my license number. I scanned the QR code on the envelope and it said it was invalid. Sidney looked up the ticket number on the New York DMV website and it couldn’t find a record of it.
Still, I am not 100% sure that this isn’t the legitimate state of New York contacting me to pay this ticket. But for the sake of argument let’s not even worry about whether this letter is authentic or not. The problem I have is that someone has my information and is using it to get away with traffic violations (if the ticket is real) or to scam the heck out of me (if the ticket is fake). Either way, this isn’t good.
One more piece of information that is worth considering: this past May I wrote about a fake Facebook profile that utilized my name and likeness. That impostor Brent lived in New York City. Could that fake profile and the letter I received yesterday be linked?
If anyone out there has any information on what this all could be about, could you please let me know? Of course I will be making a call to the New York DMV tomorrow but any advice in the meantime would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Don’t Blink.