ALBANY — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is warning state residents 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 ask recipients to verify their driver’s license information and to validate their COVID-19 status. Anyone who received such a text message should delete it immediately.

To help protect against phishing or smishing (SMS phishing) scams, the state Office of Information Technology Services recommends the following precautions:

n 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.

n 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.

n Don’t click on links embedded in an unsolicited message from an unverified source.

n Don’t send your personal information via text. Legitimate businesses will not ask users to send sensitive personal information through text message.


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