Illinois Department of Transportation warns against fraudulent messages, phishing schemes

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Illinois Department of Transportation has received multiple reports over the last several weeks of fraudulent texts and emails sent on its behalf and is encouraging residents to be wary of suspicious messages from IDOT.

The scam messages, most often sent via text or email according to an IDOT news release, are asking Illinois residents for personal information and are “attempting to defraud the public.” While messages may seem official, IDOT is ensuring those within the state that the department would never request banking information or Social Security numbers from residents through electronic messages.

“If you receive a text or email that appears to be from IDOT asking for your personal information, you can be sure it’s a scam,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “Please know that we are aware of this issue and are working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to protect you from these fraudulent schemes.”

IDOT has a simple message for those who receive such a message: delete it. Additionally, the department is warning people to not click on any links a message may contain, as it is likely to install malware on devices.

Other precautions IDOT is encouraging those in Illinois to take include hanging up on any robocalls, asking to use identifiers other than a Social Security number if a text does seem legitimate and keeping computer and phone software up to date. However, the most important step to take is deleting any message requesting personal identifiers, IDOT said.

To report a fraudulent message or get more information about phishing scams, call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at (800) 386-5438 for Chicago, (800) 243-0618 for Springfield, Ill., or (800) 243-0607 for Carbondale, Ill. Spanish speakers may call (866) 310-8398.

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