Scammers use fake unemployment benefit texts to steal personal information

Scammers are sending text messages about unemployment benefits to steal personal information from people.

According to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, victims are receiving texts that claim the Unemployment Insurance Agency has changed its security features. The message includes a link for people to log into their accounts to make sure they don't lose their benefits. However, logging in allows the scammer to steal the victim's login credentials.

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This is known as smishing. Officials said a similar email scam, known as phishing, has also been targeting unemployment recipients. 

"At a time when so many people are struggling financially, bad actors are using scam texts and websites that mimic government unemployment insurance benefit websites," Nessel said. "These sites trick people into thinking they’re applying for or certifying their UIA benefits; instead, they wind up giving scammers their personal information. I urge Michiganders to be vigilant to protect your personal information."

Important information/tips from officials:

  • UIA will not send a text message or email inviting you to apply for UIA benefits
  • If you have applied for UIA benefits and get a text or email about your application, contact your UIA directly using contact information included in your account
  • Never click links sent in a text or email claiming to be from UIA
  • If you believe someone has stolen your identity to claim unemployment benefits, report your concern to UIA