SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) is warning about a new wave of text scams. The texts are targeting people who got an EDD debit card through Bank of America, which includes millions of people during the pandemic.
The fraudulent messages include false claims about your debit card being suspended or the need to update your verification. The text messages also include a link. Don’t click the link sent in the text and don’t share any personal information including account numbers or names. Click here for some examples of the fraudulent text messages.
The Dollars and Sense team has reported on the ongoing struggle to stop these fake texts and fake accounts. Earlier this year, Blake Hall, CEO of ID.me told us, the scammers "prey on the elderly people, young people looking for a job, and they’re convincing the owner of that identity to take steps to take control of their information."
In the past, EDD has said people could check the caller ID to make sure the text was coming from them, but the department now indicates that the fraudsters are spoofing the texts, to make it look like they are coming from EDD numbers.
EDD shared these tips for people to keep themselves safe from the scams:
- Text messages asking people to reactivate a card by clicking a link are scams. Bank of America and EDD never text message people to reactivate a debit card.
- Never click a link in an unexpected text message claiming to be from EDD or Bank of America.
- Customers can verify whether an EDD text message is legitimate by checking UI Online or the mailed notice for the same information.
- Customers can call Bank of America using the telephone number on the back of their debit card to check if a bank-related text message is legitimate. If you lost, or don’t currently have your debit card, you can contact Bank of America at 1-866-692-9374.
- EDD only sends text messages from the number 510-74 or 918-06. Customers should be aware, however, that a scammer might attempt to fake this number to trick someone.
If you are a victim of one of these text scams you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud online or by calling 866-720-5721. You can also report fraud to EDD by clicking on Ask EDD and selecting the Report Fraud option.
For additional tips visit EDD’s Help Fight Fraught website.