With the global threat of COVID-19 changing the way many of us live, cybercriminals are taking advantage of COVID anxieties by using internet scams to extricate internet users’ personal and financial information. These scams are delivered through email, texts or social media. They have a wide range of claims including providing coronavirus awareness, selling virus prevention products and/or asking for donations to a charity. One of the more shocking features of the scams is that they often appear to be from a legitimate organization or individual, including a business partner or friend.

Think Before You Click graphic

It can seem like a daunting task to screen your emails and protect yourself from these corresponding phishing scams that are leveraging COVID fears. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, here are some simple tips that can help you navigate

  • Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
  • Pay attention to the website’s URL. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com versus .net).
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Contact the company using information provided on an account statement, not information provided in an email. Check out the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) to learn about known phishing attacks and/or report phishing.