The COVID-19 crisis has created a great deal of anxiety among the public and cybercriminals are hoping to profit as a result. The FBI recently issued a warning to be on the lookout for scammers due to a major uptick in Coronavirus-related cybercrime. While it's unfortunate that we have to be on guard at a time like this, the good news is that there are steps that you and your business can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Be wary of emails that claim to have a treatment or cure for the disease. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved a vaccine or pill to treat the Coronavirus. Don’t click on links or open attachments in these emails as it could cause malware to infect your computer or mobile device.
Online retailers may falsely claim to have cleaning supplies, paper products, health and medical supplies, and other hard-to-find items. Before you make a purchase, make sure you know with whom you’re doing business.
Ignore emails and phone calls about checks from the government. Stimulus checks will be mailed soon or deposited directly into your bank account and anyone who claims that they can get you the money sooner is not being truthful. Don’t reveal your personal financial information, and don’t click on links in these messages or else you might infect your computer with a virus.
Before donating to a charity that claims to be helping victims of the Coronavirus, do your homework. Fraudulent charities are forming right now, and you don’t want to be their first victim. If the “charity” asks for your donation by wiring funds, by gift card, or in cash, it’s a sure sign that it is a scam.
The Bowles Rice Cybersecurity and Information Privacy Team stands ready to help you and your business with privacy and data security concerns related to COVID-19 or other issues. Please contact us today if we can be of assistance.