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Scammers are sending fake COVID vaccine texts to steal Floridians' personal info

The attorney general's office warned of the bogus texts in an alert to the public.
Credit: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody's Office

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning consumers about a scam involving text messages about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Her office has been getting reports of fraudulent texts being sent around, asking Floridians for personal information to "remake" driver's licenses that show proof of vaccination. These scam messages have links that send people to a bogus Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles web page that asks them to submit their Social Security number and upload a photo of their license.

“COVID-19 cases have decreased drastically across the state, but that hasn’t stopped scammers from finding new angles to exploit the pandemic," Moody wrote in a statement. "Please be on the lookout for phony messages and remember that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will never reach out via text and ask for personal information. Florida is not updating driver licenses to include proof of vaccination—any solicitation making this claim is a scam that should be reported immediately.”

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes explained that the state doesn't text Floridians about their driver's licenses or ask for personal information through texts.

"If you receive a text asking for this information, it is a scam. With only the information on your driver license, scammers can create many fraudulent financial accounts," Rhodes wrote in a statement. "All under your name, all without your knowledge. Do not respond to these texts and do not click on the links contained in the text message."

Moody says this is an example of an "imposter scam" and offered the following tips for avoiding falling for them:

  • Know that the FLHSMV is not requiring driver license updates listing proof of vaccination;
  • Do not automatically trust a number listed on a caller ID or in an unsolicited text message;
  • Do not post photos of vaccination cards or driver licenses online, as they can be used to commit identity fraud; and
  • Avoid clicking on links in a suspicious email or in a text message received from an unknown sender.

If you see a suspicious solicitation related to COVID-19 vaccines, you can contact the AG's office by calling 1-866-9NO-SCAM, or going to MyFloridaLegal.com.

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