Watch out for scams exploiting the coronavirus

3/12/2020

The threat of a COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Americans’ everyday lives. The NCAA basketball championships will be played with no fans in attendance; the NBA and other pro sports leagues have suspended their current seasons, and travel from the U.S. to Europe has been banned temporarily.

Don’t let the bad guys reap a harvest from wreaking havoc. Digital bad guys are preying on the public’s fear of the coronavirus and sending out all sorts of scams designed to give them access to your sensitive financial information.

Below are examples from the KnowB4 security team of the types of scams you should be on the lookout for:

  1. Emails that appear to be from organizations such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), or the WHO (World Health Organization). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments.
  2. Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVD-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global events like natural disasters or health scares.
  3. Emails that claim to have a “new” or “updated” list of cases of coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

And as always, just be careful. Remember the following to protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organization such as the WHO or CDC, report the email to the official organization through their website.
  • If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to submit your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.

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