A local state representative is reminding the public to watch out for text message scams that pose as certain State of Illinois agencies.
100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville took to social media this week after he was a target of these spam text messages more than once this past week alone.
Earlier this week, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul alerted Illinoisans his office has received numerous complaints about fake messages purporting to be from the Secretary of State’s Office, and the Illinois Departments of Transportation and Employment Security. Davidsmeyer says the State of Illinois does not contact residents in this manner.
“The text messages have really become and every day for people, and I don’t doubt that eventually that will be used as reminders for things. But the State of Illinois will never it out with a link saying click on this link and verify your information. We are not going to operate that way no matter what department. So anytime you see something with a link, you’re better off not clicking on it.”
Davidsmeyer received a message this week proclaiming to be from the Secretary of State asking to click a link to update his driver’s license. A similar message two days later told Davidsmeyer he needs to click a link because an unemployment claim is on hold for verification.
Davidsmeyer says that for most of these scammers targeting texts, emails, and phone calls, there is not much law enforcement or the government can do to stop them. He says the public needs to be aware and be vigilant.
“In a lot of these things whether it’s someone calling pretending to ask about your car warranty or these text messages asking you to click on a link, a lot of times these things are happening overseas. Or they are happening somewhere in the United States that is not as easy to track.
A lot of people if they block the number they won’t get that again, but I’ve had a call come in from my wife’s number. It certainly was not her calling me. They have ways to make a phone call look like it’s coming from somewhere else. You just have to be extra vigilant and just think things through before you answer.”
Davidsmeyer says if you are suspicious of the call you’ve received, just hang up. Don’t give the caller any information. He says do not click on any links in text messages you find suspicious, and if you are contacted by a State agency, the Social Security Administration, or even your own bank or credit card company and it feels like something isn’t right, hang up and call the entity with a number you know is valid.
Suspicious text messages can be reported to the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov, or you can forward a suspicious test message as a spam report to the number 7726.