Law enforcement officials are warning recipients of text messages that claim their concealed carry permit is ready for pickup or that provides a URL for renewal—or any variation of the CCW theme—should delete the message immediately and not click on provided links. Personal information could be compromised in doing so, according to authorities in multiple jurisdictions across the nation.
The volume of messages delivered to residents in Madison County, AL, was high enough that its sheriff’s office issued a series of cautionary tweets on Christmas Eve.
“If you receive a text message offering you a ‘Concealed Carry Gun Permit,’ or advising ‘Renewal Permit’ DO NOT CLICK THE LINK! This is a scam,” the agency warned on its Twitter feed. “Permitium has recently been informed of a nationwide scam that has been targeting citizens with CCW permits.”
In Florida, the approach was slightly different, according to Jacksonville’s NewsJax4.
“If you get a text warning you that today is the final day to get a concealed carry permit in Florida, DELETE IT right away, authorities warn. It’s a scam,” the station explained in a Dec. 22 story. “The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a social media post that it has received reports from multiple residents about the text message.”
The situation is similar in Utah, although law enforcement emphasized that simply clicking the malicious link may be enough to allow a criminal to access files and passwords on a phone or similarly connected devices.
“The DPS [Utah Department of Public Safety] warns the scam is designed to ‘gain information from individuals’ though it isn’t clear what that information might be, though it seems likely the fraudulent link could mine information from a cell phone if the link is clicked,” Salt Lake City, UT, Fox News affiliate KUTV cautioned on Dec. 23. “Those getting the message may not have a firearm permit, but curiosity or confusion can still get clicks.”