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BMV warning Ohioans about identity theft text scam

Posted at 10:53 PM, Mar 04, 2022

BEDFORD, Ohio — A simple trip to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to renew his license snowballed into a big red flag for Anthony Fryer. He used his phone number to reserve a place in line at a Bedford BMV last month.

This week, Fryer received his license, but he said he also got an odd text message from with the words ‘Ohio DMV’ and a link.

When Fryer clicked the link, he was greeted by a Google document that requested all of his information.

“The text talked about discrepancies with my license and I thought they had it for a month, so how did they not find the problem?” Fryer said. “I looked at my license, didn’t see any issues.”

Fryer's antennas went up, so instead of filing out the form he called the BMV to confirm—and as he expected it was fake.

“It looked real, which is why initially I clicked and then I started thinking that I wasn’t going to put my personal data in the text message because I really don't know where it’s from,” Fryer said.

Fryer is the second person who reached out to News 5 about this same issue.

Alex Hamerstone of TrustedSec said it’s highly unlikely that Ohio drivers should be worried about a BMV data breach.

“Text scams are much more common,” Hamerstone said. “It’s often times called phishing but with SMS, and every single state has had issues with this where people are reporting to be from the DMV.”

Instead, he reminds Ohioans to remain vigilant.

“If you receive an unsolicited text message just delete it, the IRS, the BMV are not going to ask for personal information from a text message,” Hamerstone said.

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