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FBI warns of unemployment text scam targeting Hoosiers' personal information

The text message will claim to be from the Department of Workforce Development and have a link to a fraudulent site.
Credit: Lane Erickson - stock.adobe.com
Written unemployment benefits application form

INDIANAPOLIS — The FBI is warning about an unemployment texting scam that is targeting Hoosiers' personal information. 

The text message will claim to be from the Department of Workforce Development about unemployment benefits.

It will have a link it will want you to click, but that could allow scammers to get into 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.”

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

“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 someone believes they clicked on a text message scam or entered their information on a fraudulent site, they can report it to the FBI by visiting ic3.gov or calling 1-800-CALL-FBI. They can also find resources on how to protect personal information at www.identitytheft.gov.

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