Text Messaging Scam Targeting State Unemployment Insurance Systems | Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

Text Messaging Scam Targeting State Unemployment Insurance Systems

February 12, 2021: Arkansas state officials are warning residents of the latest scheme targeting people through unsolicited text messages. The U.S. Department of Justice released an alert stating that they recently discovered people are receiving text messages from identity thieves claiming to represent unemployment agencies. Scammers are most likely phishing for victims’ personal information in order to submit a fraudulent unemployment claim.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Zoe Calkins - Communications Director
Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

zoe.calkins@arkansas.gov

Text Messaging Scam Targeting State Unemployment Insurance Systems

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb. 4, 2021- Arkansas state officials are warning residents of the latest scheme targeting people through unsolicited text messages. The U.S. Department of Justice released an alert stating that they recently discovered people are receiving text messages from identity thieves claiming to represent unemployment agencies. Scammers are most likely phishing for victims’ personal information in order to submit a fraudulent unemployment claim.

The text messages ask people to click on a link to upload their driver’s license or state ID. Malware could be placed on the victim’s device if they click the link in this latest scam, or they could be tricked into providing personal information. Anyone who receives these messages should not click on any links or provide any information, including a Social Security number. People should delete the messages, keep their device’s software up to date and avoid robocalls.

“The Division of Workforce Services recently began sending emails to PUA claimants for ID verification purposes,” said Dr. Charisse Childers, Director of the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services, “however, the agency will not use text messaging to contact individuals regarding personal information or ID verification. It is very important for people to know that ADWS does not contact claimants via text message for any reason.”

The official ADWS identity verification emails will come from ADWS.UIdentify@arkansas.gov. Fraudsters know how to mask fake or harmful links so that they appear to be legitimate. To reveal whether an email address or link has been masked, hover your computer mouse pointer over the email address or link, but do not click! Hovering the mouse over a suspect email address or link will display the true destination of the link, most likely in the status line at the bottom of the email program’s window.

Those who receive the email should use the unique link provided and follow the steps to verify their ID through the UIdentify service. Claimants who are unable to use the online UIdentify service to verify ID may present their ID in person at a local Arkansas Workforce Center. Arkansas Workforce Center locations can be found at www.dws.arkansas.gov/contact.

Individuals with information about this or other UI fraud schemes can call 202-693-6999 or 800-347-3756, or go to https://www.oig.dol.gov/hotline.htm

To report suspected fraud related to unemployment claims, please contact the ADWS Fraud Hotline at (501) 682-1058 or email ADWS.InternalAudit@arkansas.gov.

Click here for more information on fraud related to unemployment insurance in Arkansas.