Due to the current global health crisis, there has been a fast-growing influx of coronavirus/COVID-19 email phishing, cellular phishing, and robocall attacks. Intelligence researchers confirm that the growth of these phishing emails and malware is unprecedented. Coronavirus phishing attacks are rapidly evolving to exploit whatever news is causing people the most fear and uncertainty at any moment—a strategy to lure more victims
The FBI expects coronavirus attacks to focus geographically on companies in the hardest-hit regions of the USA: New York City, California and Washington state in particular.
Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them! Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.
You must be on the lookout for the following:
- Avoid online offers for coronavirus-related vaccines or cures; they aren’t legitimate.
- A remedy, supplement or treatment is touted as a quick, sure-fire fix for a wide range of unrelated illnesses and health issues.
- Ads, emails and other communications include testimonials from “doctors” or “real people” about the amazing results they’ve seen from the product.
- Pitches include terms like “ancient remedy,” “natural cure,” “new discovery” or “scientific breakthrough.” They also might hint at government or health care industry conspiracies to prevent people from getting these miracle products.
- Charitable contributions
- Don’t click on links or download files from unexpected emails, even if the email address looks like a company or person you recognize. Ditto for text messages and unfamiliar websites.
- Don’t share personal information such as Social Security, Medicare and credit card numbers in response to an unsolicited call, text or email.
- Be wary of fundraising calls or emails seeking money for coronavirus victims or disease research, especially if they pressure you to act fast and request payment by prepaid debit cards or gift cards.
- Ignore phone calls or emails from strangers urging you to invest in a hot new coronavirus stock.
- The product comes with a “no risk” money-back guarantee.
- Airline carrier refunds
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives an indication of the types of scams to be wary of.
By looking at the graph below, you can see the rise of these scams. Unfortunately, it will only be getting worse!
What to do?
Please be sure to use good cyber hygiene and security measures. By remembering the following tips, you can protect yourself and help stop criminal activity:
- Do not open attachments or click links within emails from senders you don’t recognize.
- Do not provide your username, password, date of birth, social security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall.
- Always verify the web address of legitimate websites and manually type them into your browser.
- Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (for example, an address that should end in a “.gov” ends in .com” instead).
If you believe you are the victim of an Internet scam or cybercrime, or if you want to report suspicious activity, please email: SOC@turnertech.com