FBI warns of unemployment text scam targeting personal information

Regional News

INDIANAPOLIS — The FBI wants the public to be aware of an unemployment text scam targeting personal information.

Authorities warn not to click on a link in a text claiming to be from the Department of Workforce Development regarding unemployment benefits. 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,” FBI Indianapolis Financial Complex Crimes Supervisory Special Agent Spencer Brooks said. “Unsolicited text messages and emails containing links can be an attempt to obtain personally identifiable information. 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.

“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.”

Resources are available online to learn how to protect personal information. To report fraud, visit ic3.gov or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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