CHICAGO HEIGHTS – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is cautioning residents to be on alert for multiple texting and emailing scams claiming to be from the secretary of state’s office seeking personal information to defraud Illinoisans.

“There has been an increase in text and email scams trying to take advantage of individuals during tough times,” Joyce said. “Please stay vigilant, and don’t let your guard down against the very real risk of fraud and identity theft.”

According to the secretary of state’s office, scammers are sending unsolicited text messages and emails claiming to be from the Illinois Secretary of State. In some instances, the scammers copy the Secretary of State website logos and masthead to appear official.

Secretary Jesse White says these texts and emails are scams, and recipients should not click on any links or provide any information. Visiting these various fraudulent websites could place malware on the recipients’ devices or trick them into disclosing sensitive personal information. The secretary of state’s office never requests personal information, like a social security number, via text message or email.

“I have zero tolerance for fraudsters who prey on people in desperate times,” White said. “My office is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to protect Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.”

The secretary of state’s office encourages people to take the following steps to protect their personal information:

  • Delete emails and texts that promise or offer access to driver’s licenses or state ID cards, and do not click on any links contained in such emails or text messages, as they may place malware on your devices.
  • Hang up on any calls, including robo-calls, which ask individuals to take immediate action or provide personally identifiable information, such as your social security number or bank account number.
  • Ask to use other types of identifiers besides your social security number.
  • Keep your software up to date, including your phone and computer operating systems and antivirus protection programs. Most phones, computers and antivirus software can be set to update automatically when new software versions are released.
  • Call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 800-386-5438 with questions about text message scams or identity theft.
Category: Press Releases

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