Texting Scam Targets Jobless

texting scam warningA texting scam aimed at the unemployed tells them to call a telephone number for assistance with unemployment paperwork. When consumers call, they're asked to enter their unemployment debit card number before being transferred, said Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt in a statement.

This is a "phishing" attack -- a fraudulent attempt by con artists to get personal information from consumers by sending millions of e-mails or text messages randomly. The messages appear to be from a company or government agency, often using the appropriate logo.Consumers should never give out personal information in response to an e-mail or text.

"Authentic companies, banks and government agencies will never ask for personal information through text message," Pruitt said.

The complaints about text phishing aimed at the unemployed have been received by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

"The OESC does not use text messages to reach consumers," Richard McPherson, executive director of the commission, said in a statement. "If you receive such a text, please do not call the number. Instead, report the text to the commission."

The Attorney General's Office is reviewing the complaints received by OESC for possible criminal or civil action. "Consumers should always be wary of providing their personal and financial data to unknown entities unless they initiate the call," Pruitt said.

To report a suspicious text message, contact your state attorney general or employment office.

See the Federal Trade Commission's "How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam" for more information.

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