The NZ Transport Agency is urging Bay of Plenty residents to be aware of unauthorised individuals allegedly attempting to sign people up to bogus toll road accounts in exchange for their credit card information.
A Tauranga woman contacted the Transport Agency last week to say that people had come to her home claiming to be part of a tolling team that could help to set up an account if she gave them her credit card details and paid a $3.90 administration fee.
The Transport Agency’s Hamilton highways manager, Kaye Clark says the Agency is monitoring the situation and urges anyone who has had a similar experience or has handed over their information or money to contact the police.
“At this stage we have only received one report, and thankfully the woman who reported it to us did not fall for this scam. She contacted the Transport Agency and went through the right channels to set up her toll account,” Mrs Clark says.
The Transport Agency had tolling ambassadors set up at official booths in the Bayfair Shopping Centre over the last two months helping customers sign up to accounts when requested, but the Agency does not take part in unsolicited door to door sales.
“We want to make sure that people protect themselves and go through the proper channels to pay their tolls or set up accounts,” Mrs Clark says.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to do business with us, and there are several methods which people can choose from to pay their tolls.
“The easiest and quickest way is to open an account. This can be done online or for people who do not use the internet, by free calling our contact centre on: 0800 40 20 20. Opening an account either online or over the phone is free. Once people have an account they can set it up to automatically top up from their bank accounts or credit card when it drops below the minimum balance.”
Drivers can have multiple vehicles on one account and it will cover travel on all three of the Transport Agency’s toll roads; the two in Tauranga and the Northern Gateway Toll Road.
Casual or infrequent users of the toll roads can pay for their toll online or in person at selected BP and Caltex stations by cash, debit or credit card.
Customers who have a business can choose the ‘Bill Me’ account option, which allows people to travel on any New Zealand toll road as many times as they like and they will be sent an invoice at the end of each month. Payment is by direct debit on the 20th of the following month or the first working day thereafter.
The toll for cars and motorcycles using the TEL is $2 and $5 for heavy vehicles. The Route K toll tariff is $1.80 for cars and motorcycles and $4.80 for heavy vehicles.
To set up an account:
• apply online at www.tollroad.govt.nz(external link) or
• call 0800 40 20 20 between 8.:00am
and 8.:00pm Monday to Friday, or Saturday and Sunday 9.00am to 5.00pm
Information on types of door-to-door scams and what to be aware of can be found here: www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz(external link)