Be Mindful of COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Security engineers are seeing an increase in cyber scam activities that are taking advantage of the panic being caused by the Coronavirus. There are reports of websites offering to sell phony products, and using bogus emails, texts, and social media posts as a hoax to take your money. 

 

Emails and posts are circulating that may be promoting awareness and prevention tips, and false information about cases in your local area. They may also ask for victim donations, advice on treatments, or send malicious email attachments. 

 

Tips to help protect from COVID-19 Cyber Scams:

 

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.

  • Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your home computer is up to date.

  • Don’t click emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and the World Health Organization (WHO) www.coronavirus.gov to learn about ways you can help keep yourself, your family, and our shared community safe.

  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. 

  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, 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.

What to do:

  • Ask yourself, "Would this person really ask me to do this?"
  • Call the sender to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Do not reply to the email.

  • Do not purchase any gift cards.

 

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