Employment Development Department Reminds Californians to Guard Against Identity Theft “Smishing” Scams

Tips offered for identifying probable scam messages

SACRAMENTO–The California Employment Development Department (EDD) continues to urge Californians to guard against criminals who pretend to be EDD or Bank of America and try to trick people into giving up personal information by text message or telephone. Such fraud attempts specifically through text messages are called “smishing.”


The most recent fraud text message “smishing” schemes are trying to trick people into clicking links in fake bank of America or EDD text messages.

The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have also warned people about this type of scam. The Federal Trade Commission said that these sophisticated schemes try to trick people into clicking a link that may take them to a fake workforce agency website that may look legitimate.

On the fake agency website, people are prompted to input personal information that scammers can steal for things like applying for credit cards or filing fraudulent benefit claims.

Customers who are unsure of whether a text message is legitimate or not can check their UI Online account or their mail notice to verify the information.

Tips from California’s EDD to determine whether a text message is a scam:

  • Text messages asking people to reactivate a card by clicking a link are scams. Bank of America and EDD never text message people to reactivate a debit card.
  • Never click a link in an unexpected text message claiming to be from EDD or Bank of America.
  • Customers can verify whether an EDD text message is legitimate by checking UI Online or the mailed notice for the same information.

Customers can call Bank of America using the telephone number on the back of their debit card to check if a bank-related text message is legitimate.

EDD sends text messages from the numbers 510-74 or 918-06. Customers should be aware, however, that a scammer might attempt to spoof this number to trick someone.

Information about how to avoid text-message scams is available through the Federal Trade Commission, FBI, and the EDD What You Should Know About Unemployment Scammers fact sheet.

Anyone who believes they have been targeted by “smishing” should immediately report this crime to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by filing a NCDF Complaint Form or by calling 866-720-5721. Customers can also report fraud to EDD by visiting Ask EDD and selecting the Report Fraud category to submit a Fraud Reporting Form online. The EDD also offers other tips on how to protect yourself from scams and how to report suspected fraud on our Help Fight Fraud webpage.