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 Secretary of state warns residents to be aware of scams

Scams involve emails or text messages asking residents to provide personal information

Secretary of State Jesse White is warning Illinois residents to be on alert for multiple texting and emailing scams claiming to be from the Secretary of State’s office seeking personal information.

White said his office is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to protect Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.

Scammers are sending unsolicited text messages or emails claiming to be from the Illinois Secretary of State. In some instances, the scammers copy the Secretary of State website logos and masthead to appear official.

White says these texts and emails are scams and recipients should not click on any links or provide any information. Visiting these various fraudulent websites could place malware on the recipients’ devices or trick them into disclosing sensitive personal information. The Secretary of State’s office never requests personal information, like a Social Security number, via text message or email.

“Delete the text or email,” said White. “Do not click on them and do not provide any of your personal information.”

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, 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 ask individuals 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.

If you have questions about text message scams or identity theft, please call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438 (Chicago), (800) 243-0618 (Springfield) or (800) 243-0607 (Carbondale).

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