Maine secretary of state warns of text-based phishing scam

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Jul. 19—Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is warning residents to be suspicious of text messages they receive from an entity claiming to be the "Secretary of State Drivers License Facility," which asks the recipient to click on a link for verification.

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles does not contact Mainers via text regarding their drivers licenses, Bellows said in a news release Monday.

"Unfortunately there are bad actors out there attempting to trick well-intentioned people into exposing their personally identifiable information, or exposing their phones or computers to malware," she said. "I urge Mainers to be cautious when receiving any texts or emails like this, and if you have any suspicions about messages claiming to be from our office to always feel free to call and verify before opening or clicking links."

The Secretary of State's main office can be reached at 207-626-8400, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles can be reached at 207-624-9000.

Phishing campaigns via text, known as SMS phishing or "smishing," are becoming increasingly common, Bellows said. Mainers should be wary of unexpected emails or texts asking for personal information or giving instructions to click on links.

The Maine Attorney General's Office has a list of red flags to watch for in order to identify potential scams at maine.gov/ag/consumer/scams.shtml.

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