Home Archive Email Warning – Speed Camera Offence Information Available Online

Email Warning – Speed Camera Offence Information Available Online

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
Email claims that anybody can view information about a driver’s speed camera offences by visiting a publicly accessible website (Full commentary below).


Status:
False – the website is intended as a joke.

Example:
Check this out – its amazing!

Did you know that recent Government legislation changing the Freedom of Information Acts gives you access to speed camera offences registered within the last twelve months and placed on a freely accessible website?

Did you know that every time your car goes even over a mile or so over the speed limit, it is registered and placed on the database?

They only send a ticket if you are way over, OR (and here is the rub.. if you receive over 20 near misses”) You can now check how many you have against your car’s registered number.

Check this page: http://www.e-database.co.uk/

It will ask you for a password – but just click on the ‘need a password/’ link and you’ll be given one in a pop-up window. In the top right hand corner there is a “click-on” window and it even shows the picture taken by the camera!!!



Detailed Analysis:
At face value, the information in this emailed warning sounds very worrying! It would certainly be a considerable invasion of your privacy if members of the public could access a personal record of any speed camera offences that you might have against your name.

However, in spite of appearances, no speed camera data is actually accessible on this site. The site is a harmless prank. When a concerned visitor logs on to the site and submits a registration number for checking, a page with some seemingly legitimate data about a recent speeding offence will be displayed. The display includes a “View Picture” button that supposedly allows the visitor to see the actual speed camera photograph of the offence. However, the resulting picture represents the punch line of the joke. After viewing the picture, the visitor is left in no doubt that he or she has been caught out by a clever cyber-prank.

The first indication that the site is not serious is that it actually provides login details for any visitor who requires them. Clicking the “Need a login?” link opens a pop-up window that provides a working username and password. Naturally, since anybody can access login details, password protecting the information is totally redundant. Also, there is no need to provide a real registration number in order to obtain results from the “database”. Any string of numbers or letters will be accepted as a “vehicle registration”.

So, despite any concerns raised by this email forward, the site is not really a threat to personal privacy. The final “punch line” page of the site does contain some advertising, which presumably helps to raise revenue for the site owners. However, there is nothing intrusive or untoward about this advertising. Taken in context, the site provides a simple and harmless prank to play on your friends.

Unfortunately, submissions indicate that many people believe the information in the email is true and are forwarding it to all of their friends without actually checking the site first. Thus, the joke is completely lost on many recipients who may continue to erroneously believe that the site represents a genuine threat to their privacy. This email, although intended as a joke, may be in fact helping to spread unrealistic concerns about personal privacy issues.

Another very similar prank website that is also the subject of an emailed “warning”, claims that driver’s licence information is publicly available online.



Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer