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Scammers use fake text message to try to get users to click on fraudulent link
Guest Editorial by the New York State Division of Consumer Protection
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Department of Motor Vehicles warn New Yorkers of a text message phishing scheme. Phishing texts are fraudulent messages designed to obtain data or sensitive personal information to be used to commit identity theft or trick the recipient into installing malicious software onto a computer or mobile device.
The illegitimate text messages reference the “Secretary of State NY Drivers License Facility” and tells recipients they are required to update their data for their current New York driver’s license. Anyone who received such a text message should delete it right away.
To help protect against phishing or smishing (SMS phishing) scams, the NYS Office of Information Technology Services and the Division of Consumer Protection recommend the following precautions:
√ DO exercise caution with all communications you receive, including those that appear to be from a trusted entity. Inspect the sender’s information to confirm the message was generated from a legitimate source.
√ DO keep an eye out for telltale signs of phishing – poor spelling or grammar, the use of threats, the URL does not match that of the legitimate site. If the message does not feel right, chances are it is not.
√ DON’T click on links embedded in an unsolicited message from an unverified source.
√ DON’T send your personal information via text. Legitimate businesses will not ask users to send sensitive personal information through text message.
√ DON’T post sensitive information online. The less information you post, the less data you make available to a cybercriminal for use in developing a potential attack or scams.
For more information on phishing scams, as well as steps to mitigate a phishing attempt, visit the state Office of Information Technology Services phishing awareness resources page at https://its.ny.gov/resources or the Division of Consumer Protection phishing scam prevention tips page at https://dos.ny.gov/identity-theft-prevention-and-mitigation-program.
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection serves to educate, assist and empower the state’s consumers. For more consumer protection information, call the DCP helpline at 800-697-1220 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays or visit the DCP website at https://dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection. The division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.