As the federal government and more and more state governments along with private employers are requiring their employees to be vaccinated from the Coronavirus as a condition of employment, scammers are taking advantage of this situation to contact people with phishing text messages called smishing that purport to come from state health departments that appear to enable you to confirm your vaccination status.  Recently the New York State Department of Health issued a warning about this type of scam which they say is intended to lure people into providing personal information that can be used for purposes of identity theft.  In addition, the links contained in these smishing emails also present a threat of downloading malware, such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware if targeted victims of the scam click on the links provided in these emails.

TIPS

Never respond directly to these text messages.  Don’t text “stop” or “no” as sometimes suggested.  Doing so only alerts the identity thieves that they have a real  and active cellphone number. Instead forward the text to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keyboard.

You can never be sure when you receive a text message asking for information if the sender is who he or she says he or she is and even if the message originates from a legitimate cellphone, you can’t be sure that the legitimate cellphone was not hacked into and the message you receive is from an identity thief.  If you ever have the slightest thought that the text message may be a legitimate message from an entity with which you do business, you should contact the real entity directly at a number that you know is correct to inquire about the text message.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up for free using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/