Did you get a text message like this recently?
"ACTION REQUIRED FROM INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE: Your Back2Work money of $9,880.00 could not be processed by your financial institution Kindly Click [website redacted] to confirm your bank account information is correct."
I have heard about these going around, and I finally got one myself this past weekend. Rest assured; these texts are a phishing scam. All they want is to steal your banking information.
There are several red flags in the message. The department name is written incorrectly—it’s Department of Workforce Development, not “Department of Workforce.” The capitalization is weird, and the text mostly lacks any punctuation. “Kindly” is a word that shows up in a lot of scam messages that originate overseas, but isn’t very common among native English speakers in the United States. And of course, it has the request to “confirm” some item of personal information in return for a too-good-to-be-true payment.
Phishing attacks like this attempt to confuse potential victims. At the start of the pandemic in 2020, many people experienced unemployment, whether temporary or long-term. At that time, many scams revolved around unemployment claims, since the odds were better of finding someone in the process of filing for benefits. Now that more people have returned to work, this phishing attack is attempting to trick people into thinking they have a payout from the state still pending.
Messages that ask you to “verify” or “confirm” nonpublic personal information are some of the most common forms of phishing. If you get one of these, via email or text, do not reply to it. Just delete it and go about your day.