Did you receive a text message out of the blue, claiming to be from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (NYS DMV)? If so, delete it!
This text message is a phishing attempt by scammers. The scammer hopes you will click the link to the fraudulent site they have set up or reply to the text message with any personal information they request. If you supply any personal information, the scammer will use that information to compromise your identity!
Phishing attempts can come in many forms, including e-mails, text messages, phone solicitations, fraudulent social media accounts, or websites. The best way to protect yourself from an attack is to be aware and vigilant.
The best way to avoid these phishing attempts:
- Do not respond to unsolicited text messages or e-mails, click on links, download files or open attachments from an unverified source.
- Never give out personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited e-mail.
- Do not provide personal information over the phone or through text or e-mail, and never enter personal information in a pop-up screen.
- Be cautious with all communications you receive, even those that appear to be from a trusted source.
- Look for phishing clues. Look for common signs of phishing like poor spelling or grammar, the use of threats, or a URL that does not match that of the legitimate website.
- Phishers may use authentic company logos to make their communications seem legitimate.
- Install, update and use anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer or devices, as well as phishing filters on your e-mail and web browser to help reduce the number of phishing attempts.
- Review financial account statements as soon as you receive them to check for unauthorized charges and check your credit reports regularly.
- Contact organizations or institutions in response to unsolicited text messages or e-mails using their name.
- Change your passwords, check your computer or devices for viruses, and notify credit reporting agencies, your bank, and other companies you have accounts with if you provided personal information to unknown or unverified sources.
- Report suspected Phishing scams to email@example.com, the division of Consumer Protection at dos.ny.gov/consumer-protection, and the institution or company targeted in the Phishing e-mail. You also may report Phishing e-mails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you provided personally identifiable information to unknown or unverified parties by immediately notifying the companies with whom you have the accounts and by placing a security freeze or fraud alert on your files at credit reporting agencies.