Text and email scam targets people looking to avoid going to the DMV

GRANITE CITY, Ill. – There is a scam targeting people in the St. Louis area who wish to avoid going to the driver’s license office.

Drivers in Illinois and Missouri receive suspicious text messages and emails.

COVID-19 pandemic extensions for license plate and driver’s license renewals end. So there are no more excuses for things like expired stickers or temporary labels and for postponing a trip to the one place most of us hate going.

“I usually don’t come here,” said a driver who waited outside a permit office in Granite City, Illinois.

“Yes, it doesn’t matter how long the queue is,” said another driver.

Identity theft scammers are aware of this and send links to cell phones and email addresses. The links direct you to suspicious websites with “cut and paste” state logos asking you to enter personal information such as your name, driver’s license and social security numbers, as well as your date of birth, hoping to make you believe that you can take care of yourself. of something online Instead of waiting in line.

A driver waiting at the Granite City permit office said an employee took a call from a woman who had been scammed while at the counter.

“She explained to him,” Don’t take this because they’re cheating. “It’s like a hack deal,” said the driver.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White issued an initial warning about the scam in late April and has now issued a new warning because the crooks haven’t stopped. The texts are linked.

“We receive hundreds of reports in our office alone that these text messages and emails have taken place,” said Elizabeth Kaufman, spokesperson for the Illinois secretary of state. “These text messages are sent pretending they came from the office of the secretary of state or the Illinois Department of Transportation, asking people to verify their information. The Secretary of State’s office never asks by text or email to verify your information.

Just go to the licensing office.

Don’t click links, hang up on callers who want your personal information, and delete text messages or emails, Jesse White warns.

You can also report such scams to the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 800-386-5438 (Chicago), 800-243-0618 (Springfield), or 800- 243-0607 (Carbondale).

About Geraldine Higgins

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