Utah election leaders warn of fake text, election phishing scams

Oct 27, 2023, 2:46 PM

Image of a list of text messages on a cell phone. Utah election leaders said that a fake text, shar...

Image of a list of text messages on a cell phone. Utah election leaders said that a fake text, shared by Utah's Lt. Governor, should have Utahns looking out for future elections-related scams. (Shutterstock)


SALT LAKE CITY — Utah election leaders said that a fake text shared by Utah’s Lt. Governor should have Utahns looking out for future elections-related scams.

“While we haven’t seen a lot of these that are election-related, I think with the Presidential election coming into that cycle we are going to see an uptick,” said Utah’s Director of Elections, Ryan Cowley.

“And so it’s just an important reminder of what you’re getting and be aware of it.” 

Here’s what the fake text looked like

The text read, “Your GOP voter profile is incomplete … please finish your GOP profile RIGHT NOW and make a 550% difference HERE,” followed by a link that was blacked out.

Henderson responded on X, formerly Twitter, with her own post reading “REMINDER: Do not click links on text messages from unknown senders! Bad people are getting more sophisticated. Don’t become a victim of a phishing scam.”

Cowley said there were some key signs that this text was fake. It created a sense of urgency by telling the reader to do something right now. It included a link with weird characters. And it came from an unknown sender.

“When these types of texts or emails are asking for personal information … that’s always a red flag,” he said. We’ve got our website [Vote.Utah.Gov] that you can go to, we’re never going to be sending out things like that.” 

Protect yourself from phishing scams

The state does use a system that allows voters to opt in and receive texts, it’s called BallotTrax. Cowley said the key difference is the content of the text or email.

“Is it informing you, is it pointing you to a trusted source? Or is it trying to get you to take some action and enter in some personal information right there in the text or email,” Cowley said.

Other tips to protect yourself from phishing scams, Cowley said, are to avoid clicking directly on a link. He also recommends that you make sure to have anti-virus software on your browser. Finally, he said that Utahns can always contact their county clerks if they’re unsure.

Keep reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Smog settles over Salt Lake City during an inversion on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. With Utah's winte...

Allessandra Harris & Devin Oldroyd

Inversion may worsen this week, NWS says

With Utah's wintery temperatures this week, there will also be some inversion patterns and low air quality in the valleys.

9 hours ago

Image of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, speaking at UVU in Orem on April 22. Reyes was sued Mond...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Lawsuit accuses AG Sean Reyes of intimidating critic of Tim Ballard, OUR

The lawsuit is the fourth complaint against Ballard in recent months and the first time Reyes is named as a defendant.

10 hours ago

The Kimball at Temple Square, left, is pictured in downtown Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023...

Waverly Golden

New report shows decline in Salt Lake City youth population

The Salt Lake City youth population hit it's lowest point after a decade, other states in the west experience similar decrease.

12 hours ago

Lehi City is starting a new winter tradition and has converted a baseball field into a temporary ic...

Eric Cabrera

Lehi City builds temporary ice rink at Sports Complex

Lehi City is starting a new winter tradition and has converted a baseball field into a temporary ice rink. It will be open until Jan. 26.

13 hours ago

a woman sits with her son at a computer...

Don Brinkerhoff

Tutoring may be a ‘good way’ artificial intelligence can help us

As with most things involving artificial intelligence, AI tutoring would begin with a human evaluating what a student already knows.

14 hours ago

an apartment building in pleasant grove is damaged after a car crash...

Adam Small

One hospitalized, 3 units unlivable after truck crashes into Pleasant Grove apartment building

Firefighters had to rescue a man pinned by a pickup truck after a crash into a Pleasant Grove apartment Monday morning.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

Utah election leaders warn of fake text, election phishing scams