Beware of Coronavirus Scams
Beware of coronavirus related scams –
Phishing Emails, Texts and Phone Calls
Unfortunately cyber criminals are taking advantage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation to gain access to email, social media and financial accounts. Additionally, malware attacks are expected to increase with the increased volume of coronavirus-related email communications.
We encourage you to be extra vigilant when opening emails especially those that contain links and/or attachments. Be on the lookout for emails purporting to be from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other credible organizations. Such phishing emails could seem highly convincing with logos and email formats that may appear credible.
Take the following precautions when handling emails:
• Look closely at the sender’s email address and domain
• Do not assume it is legitimate because it displays a corporate logo
• Do not open attachments from sources you do not recognize
• Do not click on any links in the email; instead visit the organization’s website, if needed
• Beware of demands for personal information
• Avoid phishing scams by keeping your anti-malware and anti-virus software up to date on your computer
• Go directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the most recent information on the coronavirus, rather than obtaining information from emails and other sources that may not be legitimate.
• Watch out for advertisements or “investment opportunities” around coronavirus prevention, treatment, or cures. Consult a medical professional for questions about prevention and treatment.
Additionally, be aware of texts and phone calls offering medical testing, vaccines, treatments or alerts about critical supply shortages.
• Such calls may come from telephone numbers that are in a strange or unexpected format
• Such calls often involve caller ID spoofing (when a scammer uses a fake number so the call looks like it’s coming from a local caller) and automated systems to make it difficult for legal authorities to monitor, trace or block
• URLs in the texts may not be fully displayed, making it difficult to identify if a log-on screen is legitimate
Consider experienced relief organizations that are better equipped than new charities to fulfill relief promises and deliver aid. You can visit give.org to verify organizations.
The Ohio Department of Health and local health districts are also great resources for coronavirus updates at the city, county and state level. As Ohioans take steps to prepare for and limit the spread of coronavirus, it’s important to use the same caution when obtaining information about the virus and responding to the needs that arise in order to provide relief and assistance during the outbreak.