Secretary of state issues alert to public about scams
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding residents to be on alert for scams claiming to be from the Secretary of State’s office or from “Illinois DMV” seeking personal information to defraud Illinoisans.
White said in a news release there is a new round of fraudsters’ attempts to entice the public into falling victim to scam texts and emails.
“I have zero tolerance for scammers who prey on people in desperate times,” White said. “My office is committed to protecting Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.”
The most recent scam is a text message claiming to be from “Illinois DMV.”
The text message states, “Due to increased fuel prices, State of Illinois has initiated rebate payments of $1500 per vehicle. Check eligibility.” This is a scam; do not click on the link, White said.
The secretary of state said visiting these fraudulent websites could place malware on the recipients’ devices or trick them into disclosing sensitive personal information.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office never requests personal information, like a Social Security number, by an email or a text message.
“Delete the text or email,” White said. “Do not click on these texts or emails and do not provide any of your personal information to these fraudsters.”
White encourages people to take steps to protect their personal information:
Delete emails and texts that promise or offer access to driver’s licenses or state ID cards. Do not click on any links contained in such emails or text messages, as they may place malware on devices.
Hang up on any calls, including robocalls, that ask individuals to take immediate action or provide personally identifiable information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number.
Keep software up to date, including phone and computer operating systems and antivirus protection programs. Most phones, computers and antivirus software can be set to update automatically when new software versions are released.
White encourages the public to provide screenshots of fraudulent emails or texts by submitting them to ScamAlert@ilsos.gov.
White said that individuals who have clicked on a link, have provided personal information or believe they have been a victim of identity theft, should call the Illinois attorney general’s Identity Theft Hotline at 866-999-5630.