Scam alert: NY state warns of text message-based vaccine phishing scam

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Photo credit Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Scammers are impersonating the New York Health Department in a new text message-based phishing scam, the state warned Tuesday.

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The state’s Health Department and Division of Consumer Protection said scammers are sending text messages asking recipients to validate vaccine information through a fraudulent link.

The scammers falsely claim to be representing health agency in unsolicited, all-caps messages.

“CLICK BELOW TO VALIDATE YOUR COVID-19 STATUS TODAY,” reads the false message, according to screenshots shared by the Division of Consumer Protection.

“VALIDATE TODAY FROM NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH,” the fake message continues.

Phishing scam screenshots
Photo credit NYSDOH

Phishing scams typically attempt to trick victims to unwittingly hand over data or sensitive personal information to commit identity theft.

The state is advising recipients to delete the message immediately. New Yorkers are advised to never send personal information via text and avoid clicking links in unsolicited messages.

Bad grammar, typos and threatening language are some of the tell-tale signs of phishing scams, according to the state.