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Department Of Public Safety Warns Of New Cyber Scam Text Message


The Utah Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety issued a warning late last week alerting people to a cyber phishing scam.

The Department of Public Safety urges Utahns to delete text messages purportedly from state agencies requesting personal information.

The text message appears to come from the Utah Department of Transportation Driver License Validation. It asks recipients to respond to invalid or missing information on a Google form.

The text asks for personal information, including name, social security number, date of birth, driver's license number, height, and weight.

Utah Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Joe Dougherty said they noticed the scam last Thursday and the Department of Technology Services contacted Google immediately.

"And they sent a text message out that directed people to a Google form that asked them to fill out their personal information in an effort to quote unquote update their driver's license information. So, there are a few things wrong with that. The Department of Transportation has nothing to do with Utah driver licenses. That's a responsibility in my department, the Department of Public Safety. People should know that the state government will never contact you through a text message asking you to update personal information in that form.”

Dougherty said state agencies would use the postal service to alert the public when information is required. The public should only provide personal details to regular customer service contacts.

He doesn't think the text messages were active for too long.

"It's important for people to realize that those text messages had already gone out, and we have no idea how many people actually received those. The link to that actually went to that Google form, the form was shut down by Google on Friday. So, what we hope is that because we've been talking about cybersecurity so often that most Utahns we expect will be aware that an unsolicited text message asking for your personal information is really something you should just avoid."

Dougherty said if you've filled out the form already, it's essential to contact the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. A link is on KPCW.org.

Additionally, you should monitor your credit to look for unexpected or new fraudulent accounts. Dougherty said people could go to annualcreditreport.com to get a free credit report.

For more information on cyber-crimes, visit https://siac.utah.gov/cyber-security/.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.
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