STAY ALERT - Scammers Trying To Cash In On COVID-19
Scammers use every opportunity to trick you out of your money or personal information and that includes situations in which you might feel uncertain or afraid. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a perfect example.
Some of these criminals are impersonating staff from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to try and get you to give them your personal information. They do so by sending phishing emails asking you to share sensitive data like usernames and passwords. The emails may also include links that direct you to a phishing website, or an attachment that spreads malware to your computer.
The emails may tell you that providing the information, clicking on the link, or opening the attachment is something you must do for "safety reasons." However, there's nothing safe about offering personal information or opening an attachment that can be used against you.
It's not just the WHO and the CDC that are being impersonated. Scammers will try just about any method to scare you into giving away your personal data. The information you receive might promote COVID-19 awareness, prevention, fake vaccine offers, or other "useful" suggestions.
To guard against this threat, take the following precautions:
~ Don't let the topic of COVID-19 frighten you into acting quickly. Instead, take the time to examine all offers and requests.
~ Don't trust any email claiming to be from the WHO unless the email address includes the "who.int" domain. Even legitimate email addresses can be spoofed, so carefully consider what the message is asking you to do.
~ Don't trust any link claiming to be from the WHO that doesn't start with https://www.who.int or any link from the CDC that doesn't start with https://www.cdc.gov.
~ Never click a link in an email unless you're very sure who it's from and where it will lead you.
~ If you think you've been a victim of this hoax, immediately change any credentials you might have given away.
As COVID-19 spreads, it can be easy to fall prey to fear and to latch on to any offer of assistance you think could help you and your family. However, just as you're taking steps to keep your body healthy, remember to maintain your online health, too.
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