Michigan UIA warns of text message phishing scam targeting unemployment filers

UIA does not communicate via text messaging

Person holding a cellphone (WDIV)

If you’ve filed for or receive unemployment benefits in Michigan, officials are warning about a phishing scam targeting filers through text messages.

The text claims to be from the Michigan Unemployment Agency (UIA), but officials say it should be ignored. UIA does not use text messaging to correspond with claimants.

The text message comes from an out-of-state phone number and provides a link to claim back payments. Do not click on the link. Report it as junk or spam and delete the text.

UIA alerts public of text message phishing scam (WDIV)

“Bad actors are constantly using sophisticated methods to try to steal the money you deserve,” said UIA Director Julia Dale. “UIA will not tolerate criminals who try to steal money from hard-working Michiganders. Fighting fraud and providing exemplary customer service are our top priorities. If you suspect anyone of trying to get your personal information or steal your benefits, let us know right away.”

UIA communicates with claimants through their Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account, letters mailed to the current address on file or by phone.

“Criminals use real government references to try and trick consumers into taking action that then makes it possible for them to steal from you,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “The initial contact could come in any form—letter, phone call, email, or text message. No matter the form, the goal is the same: to get your personal information and steal your money. Don’t fall for it!”

The suspicious text message is from a phone number with a 210 Area Code, which is in Texas. The message reads in part: “MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Your back payment deposit of $2,800 is now pending on your profile.” It then instructs the recipient to click on a strange link to receive payment. The link is to a fake, replica UIA website.

Click here for more on how to avoid being scammed from Michigan LEO.

Related: Weird text, email or call? Here’s how to know if it’s a scam or not


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.