CA Employment Development Department Press Release
The California Employment Development Department is warning Californians to be on alert for scammers who pretend to be EDD or Bank of America in an attempt to trick people into giving up personal information by text message.
There have been several reports of people receiving scam cell-phone text messages to trick unemployment insurance claimants into clicking a link, saying their prepaid debit cards have been “suspended due to suspicious activity” and need to be reactivated.
The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have also warned consumers about this type of scam. Information about how to avoid text-message scams is available through the Federal Trade Commission, FBI and the EDD Unemployment Scammers fact sheet. Customers who are unsure whether a text message is legitimate can check their UI Online account or their mailed notice to verify the information.
Here are some key tips to help people determine whether a text message is a scam:
* 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.
* 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.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by a text-message scam should immediately report this crime to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by visiting www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud or by calling 866-720-5721.
Customers can also report fraud to EDD by visiting Ask EDD and selecting the Report Fraud category to submit a Fraud Reporting Form online. The EDD also offers other tips on how to protect yourself from scams and how to report suspected fraud on its Help Fight Fraud website.