CHICAGO — A pair of SMS phishing, or “smishing,” scams targeting hundreds of Illinoisans with a dire warning to update their expired drivers licenses, purportedly from the Illinois Secretary of State.

Smishing is a form of phishing that uses mobile phones as the attack platform to gather personal details, like SSN or credit card number. They phish through text messages or SMSs, hence the name SMiShing. Secretary of State Jesse White is warning Illinois residents not to open the texts and to delete them immediately.

“I have zero tolerance for fraudsters who prey on people in desperate times,” White said in a written statement. “My office is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to protect Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. In addition, we have notified the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI.”

In the first scam claiming to be from the Illinois Secretary of State, the text messages contain vague references to “Problems with your information” and another to “*IL* Secretary of State.”

Each text also contains a link attributed to “” White says the text is a scam and recipients should not click on the link or provide any information. Visiting the website could place malware on the recipients’ devices or trick them into disclosing sensitive personal information that could be used on the dark web.

The Secretary of State’s office never requests personal information, like a Social Security number, via text message,…

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