Scammers Causing Confusion for Iowa Drivers’ License Holders
We could all be forgiven for being really confused about a lot of things during the pandemic, including whether your driver's license is actually expired, considering the extension Governor Kim Reynolds approved.
For a time, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) did not allow walk-ins at service centers across the state. Because they were requiring appointments, they also gave license holders a six-month grace period to renew expiring licenses.
This is when scammers began to strike. The Cedar Rapids Gazette says that fraudsters were sending text messages or emails falsely warning that the person's license needed to be updated, was missing information, or was expiring. If the recipient clicked a link in the message, it typically opened a spreadsheet requesting personal information, including the person’s date of birth and Social Security number.
The Iowa DOT will never send you a text with a link requesting this information, so beware. Luckily, while the DOT has received reports of this scam, they report that none of those who were targeted actually fell for it. There are 2.5 million driver's license holders in the state of Iowa so this issue is a big concern.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have gotten involved in locating and shutting down the scammers in this particular case. To date, there are over 1,000 of them.
If your driver's license expired during the pandemic or will in the foreseeable future, rest assured you will receive a postcard by "snail mail" directly from the DOT telling you your grace period is up and you will need to renew, with the current process of doing so.