October 7, 2021

Pandemic Scamdemic

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge worldwide, so do scams related to the pandemic. From phishing emails and text messages to fake websites and bogus charities, cyber thieves are taking advantage.

Here are some things to look out for:

Don’t always believe an email is from who it says it’s from. Scammers will pretend  to be government or health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asking recipients to visit an “official” (malicious) site, open an attachment or send donations.

Watch the spelling! “Typosquatters” or “URL hijackers” create scam sites at addresses that are one or two letters different from popular COVID information and vaccination sites. While some may look like the “real” site and trick you into entering information, others may simply trigger “drive-by downloads” of malware just for visiting the site.

Scammers are calling! Bogus text messages and calls regarding undeliverable packages, COVID test results and fake job postings convince recipients to visit bogus websites, loading ransomware or malware on their device and tricking them into entering financial or other personal info.

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Social media sites are full of ads for fake shopping sites “closing out” items for ridiculously low prices. During the pandemic, emergency generators, survival kits, ice machines and new laptops have become major items scammers offer “on sale.”

Be sure to review our “Cybersecurity Cheat Sheet” to stay on guard when checking your email, answering texts or visiting sites.