The Wheaton Police Department has received multiple reports from residents of a new phishing scam. The residents received email or text links to renew their driver’s license or license plates directing them to a fraudulent Illinois Secretary of State’s Office website. These scams are attempts to gain personal information from victims, which can be used to steal someone’s identity.
The scam directs people to the scammer’s website, which often appears similar to the legitimate Illinois Secretary of State website. The website may even have an address that appears to be authentic and asks for personal information in order to renew a driver’s license or license plate. However, these scams often contain several things that will help you identify that they are a scam. Phony websites/emails/texts often:
- Contain spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or awkward wording.
- Ask for personal information that the Secretary of State’s Office would not need or already has on file, such as Social Security number, etc.
- Have subtle differences when compared to the Secretary of State’s actual website and/or contain broken links.
If you receive a text message or email that may be one of these scams, the Secretary of State’s office advises you to delete the text or email, not click on the links given, and do not provide any personal information. The Secretary of State’s office will never request personal information such as a Social Security number over email or text message.
If you believe you received a legitimate correspondence from the Secretary of State via email because your driver’s license or license plate is reaching its expiration but you are still uncertain, instead of clicking any links in an email, you can use a well-known search engine such as Google to locate the Secretary of State’s website or direct your browser to https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com and follow directions on the site for renewing your driver’s license or license plate.
If you received a text or email and deleted it without clicking a link, there is no need to file a report. If you provided information through one of these scam methods, you can call the Wheaton Police Department at 630-260-2161 for information on how to file a report.