ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is asking people around the state to be diligent when it comes to protecting their personal information. This comes as there are two scams targeting people in Illinois, according to White.
The first scam involves a text. The sender claims to the Illinois Secretary of State. “The text messages contain vague references to ‘Problems with your information’ and another reference to ‘*IL* Secretary of State,'” said White. The text contains a link to “uipendingcases.org.”
White said those who get the text should not click on the link or give any information. “Visiting the website 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.”
The second scam involves fraudulent websites offering online vehicle registration renewals for license plate stickers. The website then charges you an additional fee for the registration, according to White.
The secretary warned about one site in particular–IllinoisCarReg.com. He said it is an unauthorized website offering sticker renewals. “Once the customer provides personal information, the sham company charges the customer a fee of $39.99, in addition to the sticker fee,” said White. “This company, which has websites for multiple states, is misleading residents across the nation. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company in an effort to shut it down over concerns of how the company may be using the personal data that it obtains from customers.”
If you are renewing your sticker online, White is asking you to make sure you are visiting the office’s website before proceeding with the renewal process. Drivers will need their registration ID and PIN; both are on your renewal notice and registration card. You will need that information to renew online.
There are several ways that you can protect your personal information, according to White. Those steps include:
- Deleting emails & texts that give access to driver’s licenses or state ID cards and do not click on any links in the messages
- Hang up on robocalls that direct you to take action right away or give personal information, such as your Social Security number
- Ask if you can use other identifiers besides your Social Security number
- Keep anti-virus protection programs updated on your devices
If you feel that you have become a victim of this scheme, White said to call your credit card company to dispute extra charges. If you have any other questions about these scams, call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438 in Chicago, (800) 243-0618 in Springfield and (800) 243-0607 in Carbondale.