Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams During COVID-19

, , , , , | 01/05/2020

Since the emergence of COVID-19, the world has changed dramatically. While you worry about the safety and health of yourself and your loved ones, you shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of your online activity. Unfortunately, hackers are working from home just like the rest of us, and they are working hard to fool you. Hackers take advantage of circumstances where people are confused and afraid, profiteering from people’s uncertainties and the passing around of misinformation.

What is the harm of a phishing scam?

If you are an unfortunate victim of a phishing scam, the scammer may gain access to your personal information or install dangerous malware into your electronic device.

What does a COVID-19 phishing scam look like?

A phishing scam can take on many forms, but it often looks like a regular, non-threatening email, adorned with authentic-looking logos and familiar branding. They are designed to make you let your guard down, whether they are seemingly addressed by a family, a friend, or even the World Health Organization. These dangerous emails may also contain malicious links or attachments. Phishing scams can also come in the form of phone calls making fraudulent requests for money (i.e. asking you to support the local hospital or support the front-line workers).

How do I avoid a COVID-19 Scam? Follow these simple steps:

Ø Be skeptical of everything. Look into any suspicious details. If the email is from a company, check out their official website.

Ø Double-check the email address of the sender. It may look similar to that of a friend or a company you regularly shop at, but a hacker may add an extra letter or symbol to fool you. Tip: hover over the senders name to ensure that the email matches it.

Ø Do not open any attachments or links unless you are 100% sure you know who sent the email. Embedded links may seem valid, but it could be attached to a dangerous address.

Ø If an email request your personal or financial information, this is a red flag. Take extra care.

Ø Install anti-malware, anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-spam software.

While it is impossible to avoid COVID-19 phishing emails entirely, there is much you can do to prevent them and mitigate any damage. If you come across a suspicious email, you can delete it or block the address. Better yet, you can report the email to the organization or person the email is impersonating. The same way you would protect your family from COVID-19, protect your family from COVID-19 scams and take utmost precaution online.

If you are not 100% sure about your safety, call Investigation Hotline for our compassion and subject matter expertise.

To learn more, contact Investigation Hotline at 416-205-9114 or Speak with the Experts Now