I recently received a text message from an official number belonging to the US Department of Health, well that is what the caller ID said. The message said that I had been leaving my home several times during the past week and that I now had to pay a fine. I am not sure how they found this out because I have been very careful and have stayed at home. This is not true!
There was a link in the text that wanted me to click on it to make the payment.
I live in Connecticut and I think that we still have a "stay home" initiative . Is this a Scam or do I need to pay a fine?
States and Governments across the globe have created restrictions to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. Because theses regulations change often and vary by country, region, and city. So knowing exactly what is expected of you can be a challenge. It’s no surprise that the bad guys are taking advantage of this confusion!
Cybercriminals are using text messaging, or short message service (SMS), to pose as a government agency. The message usually says you have been seen leaving your home multiple times and as a result you are being fined. They urge you to click on their official-looking link to pay this "fine" online. If you click the link, you’ll be taken to a payment page where you can give your credit card details directly to the bad guys!
I think that this sounds a lot like what happened to you.
This tactic is known as “Smishing” (SMS Phishing). Smishing can be even more convincing than email phishing because criminals know how to spoof their phone number to appear as though they're calling from an official source. Be careful!
Always Think Before You Click, and you did this perfectly.
So my answer is a HUGE NO!
If you would like to learn more check out my resources on CyberSafeSenior.com
Coronavirus Cure or Snake Oil? (PodCast)
Covid19 Themed CyberAttacks (YouTube)
CyberSafety and the Coronavirus (YouTube)