How easy is it to speed through a roundabout intersection? “Not very,” an East Peoria police sergeant said Tuesday.

That’s one reason why residents in that city and others nearby, including Pekin, should know that any emails they receive claiming a police camera caught them in the act is yet one more scam.

Another is that the people who’ve recently been told they were caught speeding on Clock Tower Drive “said they hadn’t been there for some time,” said Brian Despines.

Yet another is the most basic.

“We don’t issue tickets by email,” said Despines, a statement echoed by the Pekin Police Department.

Anyone who receives such an online notice should not open any attached link, at the risk of lowering their computers’ defenses and submitting themselves to identity theft, the departments warned.

Both departments issued news releases warning of the scam after several East Peoria residents reported receiving emails calling on them to click on a link provided to pay their fines online for speeding in the area of Clock Tower Drive.

Most traffic in that area, the western portion of the city’s retail and commercial Levee District, flows through a roundabout that connects Clock Tower and West Washington Street.

City police have no cameras, there or anywhere else, to catch traffic violators, Despines said.

Since the residents who reported receiving the emails did not comply with the offer to pay their supposed fines online, the East Peoria department can only speculate what the scam is intended to obtain.

“It could be cash, (or) credit card numbers, personal information” that would enable the scammers to open credit cards or buy gift cards in the victims’ names, Despines said. “Lots of reasons.”

Because the scam focused on traffic around Clock Tower Drive, he speculated it isn’t coming from local residents. Nearby Camp Street, with its much higher traffic volume, would’ve been a more realistic choice, Despines said.

Ingles issued a notice Tuesday on the Pekin Department’s Facebook page alerting readers to the ruse in East Peoria. Pekin’s department has received no reports yet of it spreading to its city, she said.

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