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Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles warns of fake website

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
Posted at 8:48 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 22:47:26-04

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles issued a warning on Friday about scam websites that are imitating the DMV's website.

Government offices such as the DMV are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is redirecting customers to its website, but at the same time, there is scrutiny over imposter sites.

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"Because of the coronavirus, there will be increased attacks," Suresh Murugan, the Chief Information Security Officer at Elizabeth City State University, said.

The attacks Murugan he's referring to are from scammers who are out to steal people's personal information. The information gathered could be used for the attacker's own self interests, which can include to steal someone's identity and/or money.

"They're trying to almost mimic the real websites and legitimate companies," Murugan said.

If you are on a DMV website and are skeptical, Murugan said some details to look our for are in the URL. You should see a padlock icon as well as the letters "HTTPS." Murguan said you can click on the padlock, where you will be shown the website's security authenticity.

"Be alert to the fact the scam exists," Murugan said. "That awareness is key to the first line of defense."

Related: Scammers exploiting coronavirus pandemic to target people most at risk, officials say

Aside from phishing attempts, he also said programs such as malware could be downloaded onto your computer without you noticing. Murugan made the following suggestions:

"Assume that every website is compromised, so we want to make sure that you are guaranteed that you're going to the legitimate websites," Murugan said.

He suggested to make sure you anti-virus and anti-malware software is running and up-to-date.