Illinois residents targeted by identity theft scammers

The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about surge of imposter and phishing scams across Illinois that affect several government departments. Scammers are trying to get their hands on your driver’s license and state ID.

Scammers are using the delays at the DMV caused by COVID-19 to rip off people by using text messages, emails and phone calls claiming to be from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Department of Employment Security (IDES) or the Secretary of State’s Office.

For example, scammers will send a text message pretending to be from IDOT and asking for "Driver License Validation." In addition, the scammers will ask for for a driver’s license number, date of birth and Social Security number. 

"Driver’s licenses are issued by the Secretary of State’s Office, not by IDOT," Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois said. 


So far, the Secretary of State’s office has tracked down 218 imposter websites and shut down more than 130 of them. 

Scammers can file for unemployment benefits under your name if you click on links in emails or texts that take you to a site where they ask for personal and financial information. 

IDOT, IDES and the Secretary of State’s Office do not send texts or emails asking for information. 

The BBB encourages people to use these tips to protect themselves from scammers to avoid becoming victims of identity theft.

  • Delete texts or emails that talk about driver's license or state ID cards, and do not click on any links from these messages.
  • To protect yourself, consider freezing your credit if you are not currently seeking any loan.
  • Hang up on any calls and robocalls that ask you to take quick action or provide personal information.
  • Ask the person if you can use other identifiers instead of your Social Security number.
  • Update your computer software and virus protection.