As the public’s demand for information about the pandemic remains high, criminals are seeking to take advantage, turning common information searches into information theft. Be aware of the latest activities and make sure you are implementing additional precautions to protect yourself and your confidential information.
Recent pandemic scams
Outbreak maps. Malicious actors have begun spreading malware through online maps claiming to track the impact of coronavirus. As users visit the sites or click the links, they are exposing usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, browsing history, or other nonpublic personal information that is then exploited by the attackers or sold to other criminals on the dark web.
Email campaigns. Criminals are leveraging common forms of fraud like spam email campaigns, using infected attachments or downloads to gather information.
Charitable giving. Scammers are posing as charitable organizations seeking contributions for various virus related causes. Be extra diligent to ensure you are contributing to a true, reputable charity. Go to their site directly to contribute verses clicking on a link you may have received from a friend, colleague, or by email.
Protect yourself from cyber threats
The National Cyber Security Alliance created a COVID-10 Security Resource Library specifically dedicated to cyber threats and scams during this pandemic.
Here are some tips:
Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
Pay attention to the website’s URL. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site but the URL may use a variation in spelling (e.g., “@paypall” versus “@paypal”) or a different domain (e.g., “.net” verses “.com”). You can hover over a link – but again, do not click on it – to see the true identity of a URL.
If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate – do not open it. Verify it by contacting the company directly using information provided to you on an account statement, contact, etc., not by information provided in the email.
Keep your computer clean including updating critical software and ensuring virus scans are up to date.
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