OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) has been notified of a text messaging scam targeting Oklahomans that specifically mentions benefits received through OKDHS, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as well as Social Security Income (SSI). The agency was notified of a similar scam in July.
The text message appears to come from a random number with body contents similar to the following:
Congratulations your number is among the random 150 numbers selected to benefit from The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program giving out $500 to 150 people just like we did yesterday. A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as SNAP, SSI, TANF, may be automatically eligible. Click the link <hyperlink> to apply, It starts now…
Once an individual clicks the hyperlink of the message, they are taken to a website that appears to phish for household personal information by requesting the completion of a form with household demographics, including social security numbers and banking information “for resource verification.”
Oklahomans should know that the LIHEAP program requires enrollment on OKDHSLive.org, or customers may be auto-enrolled based upon their eligibility. OKDHS will never send a text message asking customers to apply for benefits, or to request the completion of an online form outside of the secure, protected environments of OKDHSLive.org or OKBenefits.org.
Individuals who have received these text messages should not click on any links, but should, instead, delete the text messages immediately. Individuals who have already clicked on the link within this text message should notify their bank immediately and take the necessary steps to address identity theft, including considering freezing their credit. Below is a link to the Federal Trade Commission website which has information related to identity theft, as well as links to the various credit reporting agencies.
Equifax Experian Trans Union
800-525-6285 888-397-3742 800-680-7289
Fraud Division Credit Fraud Center Fraud Victim Assistance Unit
PO Box 740241 PO Box 9532 PO Box 6790
Atlanta, GA 30374 Allen, TX 75013 Fullerton, CA 92834