INDIANA officials warn Hoosiers to be alert for suspicious messages related to instant payment programs.
According to the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, the state advised residents to ignore emails, texts and phone calls about tax refunds or inflation cuts in Indiana.
Scammers are allegedly trying to steal people’s personal information in Indiana through a phishing scheme based on these two tools.
Phishing messages are designed to appear normal and usually appear to come from an important person or institution.
However, phishing text messages or emails can expose your personal information to scammers and potentially damage your device if you click on the links provided by scammers.
Phishers may also attempt to gather information over the phone while pretending to be someone else.
Scams to watch out for in Indiana
Under Indiana state law, all excess funds from the state budget must be returned to residents in the form of a refundable tax credit.
Individual taxpayers are owed $125, while married couples filing jointly receive a $250 payment.
In addition, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb recently approved the $200 inflation relief checks, which started this week.
The state advised residents to be wary of:
If you receive any of the above regarding the payments, that is a red flag.
All refunds and exemption checks are sent via direct deposit or paper check.
Any other messages Hoosiers receives about the payments are likely to be fraudulent.
Indiana state police officers also recently warned residents to watch out for scam messages from people claiming to work for the Department of Workforce Development.
According to Fox 59 Indianapolis, scammers lure residents into clicking phishing links with offers of unclaimed incentive funds or benefits.
Anyone who receives a suspicious-looking text message in Indiana should report it to the attorney general’s office.
The Sun contacted the Indiana Attorney General’s office for comment.
Other scams to watch out for
New York also recently warned residents of scammers posing as DMV officials sending phishing text messages.
These texts claim that the state is offering $1,500 rebates to help cover fuel costs and tell New Yorkers to follow a link to check eligibility.
These announcements come at a time when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reporting an increase in text messaging scams.
Cybersecurity experts say that clicking a link in a suspicious text or email does not necessarily mean that the user is being hacked.
However, you should always be careful when clicking on links from unknown sources and be skeptical of messages allegedly coming from government agencies or financial institutions.
Places like the bank or government offices will almost never contact you or ask you to provide personal information through unsecured web pages.
Also pay close attention to spelling mistakes or misplaced punctuation, which are often obvious signs of phishing messages.
If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, you should also report it to the FTC.
Check out The Sun’s live blog for the latest on incentive payments.
And to learn more about scams and fraud, read how thousands of Americans are losing money online.