The state Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday warned 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.
According to a media release, the illegitimate text messages ask recipients to verify their driver’s license information and to validate their COVID-19 status. DMV officials said anyone who receives such a text message should delete it right away.
To help protect against phishing or smishing (SMS phishing) scams, the state Office of Information Technology Services recommends the following precautions:
• 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.
• 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.
The DMV provides information on phishing scams at dmv.ny.gov/more-info/phishing-attacks
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.