FBI warning of unemployment text scam claiming to be from DWD


INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning Hoosiers about an unemployment text scam targeting personal information.

The FBI said that if you receive a text claiming to be from the Department of Workforce Development regarding unemployment benefits, do not click on the link. Clicking the link may allow scammers access to your personal data.

“The Department of Workforce Development will never send a text message to verify eligibility for unemployment benefits or to report issues with receiving benefits. Unsolicited text messages and emails containing links can be an attempt to obtain personally identifiable information,” said FBI Indianapolis Financial Complex Crimes Supervisory Special Agent Spencer Brooks. “Unless the message is from a known and verified source, you should never click on links in text messages or emails.”

More than $120,000 in legitimate unemployment benefits have been hijacked from Hoosiers through text and email scams, the FBI said.

“This is yet another example of the explosion of fraud related to COVID and we know hundreds of Hoosiers have been affected so far by this particular scam,” Brooks said. “We continue to work numerous cases with our federal and state partners to try to stem the flow of unemployment benefits into the hands of bad actors instead of those it rightfully belongs to.”

If you believe you may have already received and clicked on this type of text message and possibly entered information into a fraudulent website, there are resources available on how to protect your information at www.identitytheft.gov.

To learn more about identifying and protecting yourself from phishing attempts, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov or www.fbi.gov.

To report fraud, visit ic3.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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