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Coronavirus

Tips to avoid coronavirus scams

According to evolvemga.com, Cyber criminals have registered over 4,000 domain names containing “Corona” and/or “Covid.” Disguised as COVID-19 help, these new fraudulent domains are being used to execute phishing and ransomware attacks. Fraudulent emails may come in the form of a message from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDS), the World Health Organization (WHO), health advice from a medical specialist, or even internal workplace policy notifications.

Unfortunately, the worldwide spread of the coronavirus is being used by fraudsters to scare people into clicking on fake links, open malicious email attachments or give out confidential information. Be careful both at work and at home with any information you receive related to the coronavirus including emails, attachments, any social media, texts on your phone – anything.

Look out for titles or subject lines like:

  • Check updated coronavirus map in your city
  • Coronavirus infection warning from local school district
  • Keeping your children safe from coronavirus

Watch for emails or social media messaging about coronavirus that appear to be from the CDC or World Health Organization. They may only appear to be from these organizations.

You might even get a scam phone call to raise funds for ‘victims’. The scammers’ ultimate goal is to obtain your personal information for financial gain or to trick you into donating.

How can you avoid these scams?

Whether it is Coronavirus-related or another scam, here are some tips to help protect yourself:

  1. Don’t click on links or open email attachments from sources you don’t know.
  2. Never donate to any ‘charity’ unless you have researched it to be sure it is legitimate. The FTC provides a great article on avoiding charity scams. Be leery of anyone who wants you to donate by cash, gift card or wiring money, as that often indicates a scam. It is better to donate by credit card or check, and never provide confidential information, such as your bank account number.
  3. The FTC has provided an article specifically about coronavirus scams.
  4. If you receive an email or text with a link from an organization that sounds legitimate, such as the CDC, do not donate through that link. Instead, contact them on their website or by calling a phone number you know is official.

In the coming weeks and months, there will be countless scams related to coronavirus attempting to trick you and your loved ones to respond out of concern or fear. Just remember to think before you click or give.

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