ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is letting Illinoisans know about a pair of scams making their way across the state.
“I have zero tolerance for fraudsters who prey on people in desperate times,” said White. “My office is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to protect Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. In addition, we have notified the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI.”
One scam involves text messages tricking residents into providing their personal information. The text messages contain vague references to “Problems with your information” and a reference to “*IL* Secretary of State.” Those texts also come with a link attributed to “uipendingcases.org.”
“Delete the text,” White said. “Do not click on it and do not provide any of your personal information.”
The other involves a fraudulent company selling license plate sticker renewals. The company set up a website called IllinoisCarReg.com which is misleading customers by promoting online license plate sticker renewals. Once the customer provides personal information, the company charges the customer $39.99 alongside the sticker fee.
The company has websites for multiple states and is misleading people across the nation.
“Before you conduct your business with the Secretary of State’s office online, double-check you are on our official government website, www.cyberdriveillinois.com,” White said.
White encouraged residents to protect their personal information using the following steps:
- Delete emails and texts that promise or offer access to driver’s licenses or state ID cards, and do not click on any links contained in such emails or text messages, as they may place malware on your devices.
- Hang up on any calls, including robocalls, which direct you to take immediate action or provide personally identifiable information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number.
- Ask to use other types of identifiers besides your Social Security number.
- Keep your software up-to-date, including your 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.
Those who feel they have been defrauded by this scheme are encouraged to contact their credit card company to dispute the extra fee charge. Those with questions about text message scams or identity theft are also encouraged to call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 800-386-5438 (Chicago), 800-243-0618 (Springfield) or 800-243-0607 (Carbondale).