Scammers posing as the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are texting cell phones claiming that a refund is available, according to the state agency.
It is a fake message and a phishing scam trying to get payment information from unsuspecting Oregonians,according to the DMV, which urges customer not to click on any links and to delete the message.
“DMV does not text customers to let them know about a payment issue, or issue refunds via text message,” DMV Customer Services Manager Katie Hafner said.
DMV staff members are aware of the issue and are unable to provide any technical assistance with a customer’s phone. If customers have questions about how to block a number, they should contact their cell phone provider.
If you are issued a refund by DMV, you will receive it through the mail or directly back on your payment card. DMV will not text or call to inform you that you will be receiving a refund.
This holiday season customers are encouraged to skip the trip and visit the DMV online at DMV2U.oregon.gov. Customers can go online to renew vehicle registration, notify DMV of a vehicle sale, renew or replace a license/ID card and more.
The Federal Communications Commission has issued the following consumer tips to avoid such phone scams:
- Don't answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
- You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a "local" number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
- If you answer the phone and the caller - or a recording - asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "Yes."
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company's or government agency's website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
- Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
- If you use robocall-blocking technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.
- To block telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.
For the latest DMV news, visit www.oregondmv.com.