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Text scammers have new ploy posing as the DMV, Manatee officials say

The National Consumer Law Center is calling on Congress to take action against robocalls and...
The National Consumer Law Center is calling on Congress to take action against robocalls and texts to close the loophole revealed by the court’s action. It says the national do not call registry does not provide enough protection for consumers.(Source: CNN)
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 12:41 PM EDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WWSB) - If you get a text message from what appears to be the DMV asking for personal information, it’s a scam, the Manatee County Tax Collector’s Office said Wednesday.

Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr. is urging residents to use caution with motor vehicle and driver license-related text message scams. The messages are made to look like they are from the Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV, and include a link to a fake DMV website for the targeted individual to click on and provide personal information.

“Motor vehicle services are provided by different entities from state to state,” Burton said in a news release. “A common misconception is that Florida Tax Collector offices are the DMV, which is who the sender of these messages is posing as. The bottom line is that we don’t want our residents thinking that these text messages are coming from our office. We would never send a text asking for payment or personal information and we urge everyone to be very careful when receiving messages like this.”

Messages reported to the Manatee County Tax Collector have varied in content from requiring a payment, cashing in on a rebate/refund, or directing the individual to read an important notice. In all cases, the messages claim to be from the “DMV” or “Motor Vehicle Office” and give a call to action to click on a link, usually with a deadline to increase the urgency.

“Don’t click the link. Text scams are nothing new, but in the past few days we have seen an uptick of people receiving these motor vehicle related messages. I even received one myself yesterday. There is no better time than now to get the word out to use caution,” Burton said.

Customers who receive text messages or phone calls they feel are fraudulent are encouraged to report the messages to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Crime Prevention Unit at 941-747-3011 ext. 2500.

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