There are red light cameras at 149 Chicago intersections capturing drivers 24 hours a day, but for one woman the ticket is not the problem—it’s paying it.
“I thought the easiest thing to do would be to go online,” Jamie Balgooyen told NBC 5, after she received a red-light ticket on Ashland Ave.
Balgooyen said that as she went online to pay her fee, and it wasn’t until she received a past due notice from the city a week later, that she realized the site she had paid at was fake.
“I was able to search for my ticket and all my info popped up, my name, the ticket, the violation, the amount, the due date—everything was there,” she explained.
Confused, she called the Chicago Finance Department, questioning why she had received the fee once again, only this time the amount it said she was to pay, doubled.
“It was just… ‘the city of Chicago did not receive your payment, the city of Chicago did not receive your payment,’ well who did I pay then?” she said.
NBC 5 called the number on the website that instantly pulled up all of Balgooyen’s private information and there was no way to get in touch with a manager or get answers.
“It wasn’t until I went to the bank that they were like, ‘oh we’ve seen this before, we’ve had multiple people dispute this charge,’ she said.
The website is not affiliated with the city, it’s allegedly a scam.
Even though Balgooyen says an employee acknowledged the scam site, no resolution was offered, and she was told she still has $100 to pay.
“If the city’s not going to do anything about it, it’s only fair to let people know that there are websites out there that look very legitimate and have your information,” she stated.
NBC 5 reached out to the Chicago Department of Finance and they issued out the following statement:
“Safeguarding customers’ information is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Finance. For that reason, the City has implemented redundant system controls to ensure that customer’s data is always protected. While the City is not aware of a ticket payment scam, we will look into this case and work to determine that none of our systems have been compromised.”