I would imagine that all of us have received and continue to receive spam throughout our day, whether it’s by text or by email – hopefully, you delete the messages before they ever do any harm. I feel pretty fortunate that I have yet to fall for any scams – some of these attempts can look pretty authentic. I also feel pretty fortunate that here at Townsquare Media they provide us with training so we know what to look for when it comes to fraudulent messages. I recently received one such message and my Spidey sense immediately went off. I thought I’d share it with you so you’ll know not to fall for it in the future.

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The wording in the message itself seemed legit enough – if I based my decision on that alone I might have fallen for the scam. So, what was it about the message that sent up a red flag for me? There are actually three things that caught my eye, some pretty basic common sense stuff.

  1. The text is trying to get me to verify my information so I can be eligible for unemployment, so right off the bat I knew it wasn’t for me because I have a job, I haven’t filed for unemployment.
  2. The next thing that caught my eye was the URL they wanted me to click on – it was shady-looking. Nothing in the URL convinced me it was coming from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
  3. And if those two things weren’t enough, let’s take a look at the phone number that sent the message. I’ve lived in Indiana my whole life and I’m familiar with a handful of different area codes – I have never seen “616” before. A quick Google search revealed that the 616 area code is from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Nice try scammers.
Text scam

Next time you get a suspicious message, take a minute and look at the details – use a little common sense to figure out if it’s real. If you look over all the details and are still unsure, then ask someone you trust to take a look – I’d say it’s worth a little bit of due diligence to protect yourself from a scam.

By the way, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is a real thing, and if you don't believe me about this scam, take it from them. On their Contact Us page you will see the following message:

DWD WILL NOT send claimants a text message

As a reminder, DWD WILL NOT send claimants a text message. If you receive a text from someone claiming to be us, do NOT click on the link. Clicking the link could give fraudsters access to information on your phone which could then allow them to take over your UI account.

If you receive a text, please immediately email the DWD Contact Center: AskUIContactCenter@dwd.IN.gov.  Visit our fraud page for other fraud reporting information.

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