Fraud and scam alerts in the time of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”)Written by Paul Chopra
Published: 15 July 2019
In these difficult and uncertain times, fraudsters abuse fear, need, and theunpredictability created by the public health emergency, seeking to make a profitstarting from the desire of society to return to the state of security and protection.Around the world, we have seen a growing increase in scams associated withCOVID-19. The victims are typically contacted via phone, email or social networks.
Additionally, as governments find preparing packages of measures in response tothe pandemic, and they're beginning to provide financial support to the society,the risk of being defrauded by scams related to COVID-19 it will probably continueto grow. Particularly those related to the large number of Internet domainregistration with the term "COVID".
Engaging corporate email
The rise of remote (or “home office”) work,accompanied by company-wide updates on COVID-19, has opened a path forfraudsters to attack companies and their employees. Using covert emails, such asupdates on COVID-19, fraudsters attempt to trick employees into handing overtheir credentials by asking them to enter the portal of a fake "COVID-19"company. Once employees enter their credentials, the fraudster can haveunrestricted access to the company's employee accounts and intranet.
Supply or supply scams
Taking advantage of the shortage of certain products, delays in deliveries and thedesperation of the population for resources, the fraudsters established fake onlinestores that sell high-demand medical supplies such as masks, masks, latex glovesand hand sanitizers (alcohol gel). After the payment is made for the purchase ofthe products, the fraudsters appropriate the money and never deliver thesupplies.
Scams in treatments
The increase in a panic due to contracting the coronavirushas created a sector of the population in search of how to prevent or cure COVID-19. Using social media or online forums, fraudsters promote fake products affirming virus prevention and enticing victims with the promise of vaccines, fakecures, and unproven treatments.
Fraudsters pose as doctors or hospital administrators, generallyclaiming that they have successfully treated a friend or relative with COVID-19,and request payment for such treatment. - Charity scam: In times of crisis, it isvery common for individuals to feel a special sensitivity about the responsibility tohelp reduce being careful of fake online shops/stores that use non-traditionalmethods/means of payment, such as being money order (money order), giftcards, funds transfers or crypto-currencies.
- Do background checks before donating to any charity or crowdfundingcampaign.
Some of the COVID19 related scams include - Phishing
Fraudsters pretending tobe members of a national health authority or international, such as the Ministry ofHealth of the Nation or the Provinces, Center Disease Control and the PreventionUnited States, or the World Health Organization (“WHO” or "WHO"), addressingtheir victims through emails with attachments malicious, links, or redirect toupdates on the spread of the COVID-19, new containment measures, outbreakmaps or ways to protect yourself self from exposure to the virus. Once open thecomputer can be infected with malware (malicious software) or we can exposethe information to a hacker personal or credit card details saved online.
Fraudulent COVID-19 websites
There has been a significant increase in newtypologies of fraud risks and, in community impact. The fraudsters are on the huntfor that desire, soliciting donations from organizations charities that do not existto help individuals, groups or areas affected by the coronavirus, or to contributeto the development of a vaccine.
Scams via mobile applications
Fraudsters are developing or manipulating mobileapplications, which externally appear to follow the dispersion of COVID-19.However, once installed, the application infects the device with malware that canbe used to obtain personal information, sensitive data, bank accounts or creditcard details.
Continuing with the tradition of the classic scam throughinvestments, this scheme has a twist, claiming to generate large returns from aninvestment in a company that owns services or products that can prevent, detector cure COVID-19. There are many ways and ways to protect yourself, our lovedones and business being a victim of scams related to COVID-19. To reducevulnerability, it is crucial and essential to ensure that people, teams, and societyare alert and warned about how criminals are trying to take advantage of thiscrisis global health.
So what can we do to protect us?
Be cautious of fraudulent emailsthey claim to be from experts who have keyinformation related to the coronavirus. Do not click on the links or openattachments of unknown or not people verified. - Verify the email addresses ofsources claiming to possess information related to COVID-19 on irregularities,such as misspellings or symbols. Fraudsters often use addresses that only havedifferences minimum of those belonging to the people trying to imitate. Ensurethat programs (software) antivirus and anti-malware installed on devices are up todate. - Be informed about trends in COVID-19 related scams.
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