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

(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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