Scammers are known for capitalizing on fear, and the coronavirus outbreak is no exception. Scammers are attempting to trick people out of their money through fake websites, bogus funding collections and more. The best ways to protect yourself from these scams are awareness and education. Here is what you need to know…
The fake funding scam: Scammers are offering to sell fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments for COVID-19. In this scam, victims receive bogus emails, text messages or social media posts asking them to donate money to a research team that is supposedly on the verge of developing a drug to treat COVID-19. Unfortunately, any money donated to these “funds” will only help line the scammers’ pockets.
Phishing scams: Scammers posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are sending phishing emails designed to trick recipients into downloading malware or providing personal financial information. These emails might contain the logo of the agencies that allegedly sent them, and the URL is similar to those of the agencies as well.
Supply scams: Scammers are creating fake websites, social media accounts, and email addresses claiming to sell medical supplies currently in high demand, such as surgical masks and rubber gloves. When consumers attempt to purchase these supplies, fraudsters pocket the money and never provide the supplies.
How can you prevent these scams? Basic preventative measures can keep scammers from making you their next target. It’s important to make sure the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer is up to date, and to strengthen the security settings on all of your devices. Never download an attachment from an unknown source or click on links embedded in an email from an unknown individual. It is also a good idea to stay updated on the latest news about the coronavirus to avoid falling prey to misinformation. Check the actual CDC and WHO websites for the latest updates.
Be sure to “share” this post with your family and friends to help them avoid COVID-19 related scams!