SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The California Employment Development Department is urging Californians to stay vigilant against criminals who may try to get you to disclose personal information, according to a statement from EDD.

The department says that some criminals may pretend to be either EDD itself or even Bank of America in order to trick people into sharing personal information by text or phone. Fraudulant attempts like this are referred to as “smishing.”

EDD says the most recent set of smishing schemes involves texting links to phone numbers and trying to trick people into clicking into the links. Two example text messages are shown below:

This is a screen shot of a text message.
EDD text scam example (Photo courtesy of EDD)

EDD says the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have also warned people about this kind of scam. According to the FTC, the links may take users to fake workforce agency websites that looks legitimate. Users are then asked to input personal information that criminals can use to apply for credit cards or file fraudulent benefit claims.

If you believe you may have been targeted by smishing, you are asked to report the incident to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by calling 866-720-5721. Users can also report fraud by heading to Ask EDD and submitting a fraud reporting form. More information about these scams is available on the EDD What You Should Know about Unemployment Scammers fact sheet.

EDD also provided a list of tips to help consumers determine if a text they received is a scam:

  • Any text asking to reactivate a card by clicking a link is a scam. Bank of America and EDD never send text messages to reactivate debit cards.
  • Users are advised to never click a link in an unexpected text message.
  • Users can confirm any messages regarding EDD by verifying the information in their Unemployment Insurance Online account
  • Users can also call Bank of America using the phone number on the back of their debit card to check if a bank-related text that they received is legitimate
  • EDD sends texts from the numbers 5110-74 or 918-06, but a scammer could try to spoof that number to trick someone into sharing personal information