New York DMV warns of COVID-19 text message phishing scam

Local News

(WETM) – The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a warning for New Yorkers on Friday of a text message phishing scheme asking for COVID-19 vaccination status.

The DMV says these 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 right away.  

The following images are samples of the illegitimate text messages:

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.

To help protect against phishing or smishing (SMS phishing) scams, the NYS Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) recommends 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 scam.

For additional information on phishing scams, as well as steps to mitigate a phishing attempt, visit the NYS Office of Information Technology Services Phishing Awareness resources page at https://its.ny.gov/resources.

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