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New Jersey residents are being targeted in a new text message scam.
According to Mike Geraghty, New Jersey’s chief information security officer, people are getting fake texts that purportedly are from the Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the state Department of Transportation telling them they need to validate their driver’s license information.
Geraghty, who also serves as director of the Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell in the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, said people are instructed to click on a link within the text to remedy the problem.
“Obviously, the Department of Transportation and the Motor Vehicle Commission do not send out text messages asking individuals to validate their driver’s licenses,” he said.
He explained clicking on the link takes people to a site where they are asked to enter their name, address, social security number, date of birth, driver’s license number and other personal information.
“The intent of this form is so that a bad actor can collect the personal identifiers of individuals so that they can use them for identity theft and other fraudulent purposes,” said Geraghty.
He noted when someone clicks on the link instead of being redirected to the MVC or the DOT website, they are actually taken to a docs.google.com document.
He said “that should be an alert for the user to say boy, something’s up here and they shouldn’t enter any information.”
He stressed no legitimate company, department or agency “will solicit personal information from you via a text message in a Google form.”
Geraghty said if you get one of these phony text messages you can report it at cyber.nj.gov.
“The reason I ask for reporting is so we can get insight into this, and help others that may not be aware of these types of fraudulent campaigns,” he said.
He noted you can also just delete the message and block the number where it originated, so they can’t send you any other texts but “obviously don’t click on the link.”
He also pointed out the scam is also being reported in most states across the country.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]
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