While the world is concerned about the spread of COVID-19 cybercriminals are taking advantage of this panic to scam people, steal your information and sell useless products.
The FBI & @LASDHQ seek info regarding the party responsible for posting a false document online suggesting coronavirus is present in #Carson, CA. @lapublichealth has declared document to be fake. Have info? Please contact the FBI at 3104776565 or LASD at https://t.co/tISMu6J02C pic.twitter.com/gw7XCuOBgU
— FBI Los Angeles (@FBILosAngeles) February 10, 2020
Recent report shows how online scammers are taking advantage of the concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. They are creating fake coronavirus maps, sending emails pretending to be from W.H.O. to spread Emotet malware and more.
Check Point the Cybersecurity firm revealed since the beginning of 2020 more than 4000 domains that have words like corona or COVID have been registered. Out of which 3% are considered malicious, 5% suspicious. The number might look very small but this means 50% of the domains related to words like the corona COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be malicious.
Does this ring any bells?
You are right this means like the virus these emails and domains are also contagious. Therefore, we all need to stay safe from coronavirus scams.
How to avoid coronavirus targeting phishing scams?
In the last few weeks, you might have received plenty of emails regarding novel coronavirus. This makes overlooking phishing mails even by trained eyes, especially when phishing emails are made to look legal with official logos things become complex.
Last month WHO issued a statement about the fake emails in its name and to not trust them.
This makes it a serious issue. Hence, we need to take steps to stay safe from coronavirus and scams.
Here we enlist certain campaigns that will help understand how hackers are working.
1. Coronavirus Cure
This mail is designed for victims or families looking for a cure. Once they click on it their system is compromised. 3-4 variants of such mails launch each day.
How to stay protected?
To stay protected from such scam coronavirus mails hover your mouse cursor over the link this way you will be able to see the real link where you will be redirected. If it looks suspicious avoid clicking.
2. VOVI-19 Tax Refund Fraud
If a person opens this mail and clicks on the link it would redirect them to fake sites encouraging them to enter tax and financial information.
How to stay protected?
Avoid responding to electronic communication with respect to a TAX refund.
Tips to protect against COVID-19 Scams
- Before opening an email ask yourself following things:
- Does this mail make you sceptical?
- Is it asking you to click on a link or download a document?
- Is there a need for urgency?
If yes avoid doing any of the above things. In addition to this keep following points in mind to stay protected from coronavirus scams.
- Avoid clicking on unknown links and downloading attachments
- Be suspicious of emails, calls requesting personal information or asking to verify the information.
- Check the information source.
- Look for HTTPS if it is missing it might be a sign of the site being compromised.
- If something is amiss like there is a spelling or grammatical error, never overlook this sign.
- Read the links properly if they look like a subdomain, for example, store.comrather than amazon.com never trust it.
- Don’t trust emails that create a sense of urgency. Most phishing emails demand attention so that the user clicks on the fake links. Never trust such mails, delete the mail immediately.
- Think before you click if something seems too good to be true never trust it. Certainly, it is a scam. If you have an intuition that something isn’t right, trust
- Examine the link and hover the mouse before clicking the link.
- If you receive emails offering great deals on masks or sanitizer searches for retailer details never trust anything blindly.
Further, if you find wellness products advertising health benefits, boosting the immune system never trust them. It is true that health supplements are needed for good health but they don’t work alone. Consult a doctor before trusting any such product. The best way to avoid fake emails or fake health products is not to trust everything you see or read. Gather information about the things, talk to people once you have enough information to compare it. Only after thorough research, you should trust a thing that is sold online or offline.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can stay safe from coronavirus scam. We believe you will pay attention to these tips. We already have enough on our plates there is no place for anything else hence we need to take care. If you find a product claiming to be the cure of coronavirus don’t trust. As there is no cure, only prevention, less human interaction, and personal hygiene, the way to stay safe.