New York DMV warns of COVID-19 text message scam

(WETM) — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a warning to New Yorkers Friday of a text-messaging phishing scheme requesting a COVID-19 vaccination status.

The DMV says these illegal text messages are asking recipients to verify their driver’s license information and check their COVID-19 status. Anyone who received such a text message should delete it immediately.

The following images are samples of illegal text messages:

Phishing scripts are fraudulent messages designed to obtain sensitive personal data or information to use to commit identity theft or trick a recipient into installing malware on a computer or mobile device.

To help protect against phishing or SMS phishing, the New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) recommends the following precautions:

  • Act Use caution with all communications you receive, including those that appear to be from a trusted entity. Examine the sender’s information to make sure the message was from a legitimate source.
  • Act Keep an eye out for the telltale signs of phishing – poor spelling or grammar, use of threats, and a URL that doesn’t match the legitimate site. If the message doesn’t look right, odds are it isn’t.
  • don’t Clicking on links included in a spam message from an unverified source.
  • don’t Send your personal information via text messages. Legitimate companies will not require users to send sensitive personal information via text messages.
  • don’t Posting sensitive information on the Internet. The less information you publish, the less data you provide to a cybercriminal to use in developing a potential attack or fraud.

For additional information about phishing scams, as well as steps to mitigate a phishing attempt, visit the New York State Office of Information Technology Services Phishing Awareness Resources page at

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