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New Yorkers Warned of REAL ID Phishing Scam

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The federal government has been attempting to roll out new Real IDs since 2017. Now, scammers are attempting to take advantage of the push through text messages to New Yorkers.

The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently issued a warning not to respond to suspicious text messages claiming to be from the DMV. The messages include a link asking for personal information, which the DMV claims could be harvested and sold. They also say that the link could result in malware being installed on the phone. 

The fake message says, “The Real ID requirement will soon be mandatory for all domestic travel. Update your mailing and contact information for expedited compliance with new ID regulations.”

New Yorkers are being told to delete the message right away and not to click the link. 

Airports in New York will require passengers to have either Real IDs or Enhanced IDs in order to board domestic flights by October 21, 2021. The original deadline of October 2020 was pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. 

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services included these reminders in the DMV’s alert:

  • DO exercise caution with all communications you receive, including those that appear to be from a trusted entity.  Inspect the sender’s information to confirm the message was generated from a legitimate source.
  • DO keep an eye out for telltale signs of phishing – poor spelling or grammar, the use of threats, a URL that does not match that of the legitimate website. If the message does not feel right, chances ­are it is not.
  • DON’T click on links embedded in an unsolicited message from an unverified source.
  • DON’T send your personal information via text. Legitimate businesses will not ask users to send sensitive personal information through text messages.
  • DON’T post sensitive information online. The less information you post, the less data you make available to a cybercriminal for use in developing a potential attack or scam.

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This post was written by Adam H. Rosenblum Esq.

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