This week, state Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert warning Floridians of a new COVID-19 vaccination text scam.
There have been reports of fraudulent text messages being sent to Floridians asking for driver license details in order to remake licenses that show vaccination status. The text messages provide a link that sends targets to a spoofed Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website with input boxes requesting Social Security and driver license information—including a place to upload a photocopy of a driver license.
“COVID-19 cases have decreased drastically across the state, but that hasn’t stopped scammers from finding new angles to exploit the pandemic. Please be on the lookout for phony messages and remember that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will never reach out via text and ask for personal information. Florida is not updating driver licenses to include proof of vaccination—any solicitation making this claim is a scam that should be reported immediately,” Moody said.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry Rhodes also weighed in on the situation.
“The best defense against scams like this is to know how FLHSMV interacts with our customers. We do not text Floridians regarding the status of their driver license or request personal or medical information via text message. If you receive a text asking for this information, it is a scam. With only the information on your driver license, scammers can create many fraudulent financial accounts. All under your name, all without your knowledge. Do not respond to these texts and do not click on the links contained in the text message,” Rhodes said.
The link in the message will bring you to a spoofed Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
Moody asked Floridians to follow the tips below to avoid these types of imposter scams:
Know that the FLHSMV is not requiring driver license updates listing proof of vaccination;
Do not automatically trust a number listed on a caller ID or in an unsolicited text message;
Do not post photos of vaccination cards or driver licenses online, as they can be used to commit identity fraud; and
Avoid clicking on links in a suspicious email or in a text message received from an unknown sender.
Report suspicious solicitations or COVID-19 vaccine-related advertisements to the Florida Attorney General’s Office by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM, or visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
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