Not only has the coronavirus impacted people’s health, world travel and economies, but different cyber threats are lurking in this environment and fraudsters are anything but novel when it comes to taking advantage of the situation.
There have been reports of phishing campaigns utilizing coronavirus safety-themed emails and Microsoft Office documents/attachments portraying to be from various ministries of health, the World Health Organization or the CDC that contain Trojans and other malware.
Most recently, a malicious website has been detected pretending to be the live map for coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins University. This site was designed by fraudsters to steal sensitive personal information from the unwitting visitor.
Additionally, there is an increase in disinformation campaigns as a way to feed the fear frenzy and drive consumers to scam sites or to fall victim to the phishing campaigns. Scammers are taking advantage of the fears surrounding the coronavirus and have setup websites to sell bogus products.
Some steps you can take:
- Don’t click on links from sources that you don’t know. Organizations like the CDC and WHO are not going to solicit you out of the blue.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19. We are monitoring the State of NH Health Department, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
- Be alert to fake “investment opportunities” related to promotions claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
Please contact us or local law enforcement if you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a COVID-19 scam so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.