Recently, there’s been a surge in online scams related to Covid19. We will list down some of the tips and tricks on how to avoid these scams, so you can feel safer online.
How do I spot a coronavirus phishing email
Coronavirus phishing emails have taken various forms over the time. We will be discussing the most common ones,
Health advice E-mails.
Phishers have sent emails that claim to offer medical advice to help protect you against the virus. The mails might claim to be from medical experts near Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak began. “This little measure can save you,” one phishing email says. “Use the link below to download Safety Measures.”
This is what a fake email looks like. Do not click the link or forward such messages.
Workplace policy emails.
Cyber criminals have targeted employees’ workplace email accounts. One phishing email begins, “All, Due to the coronavirus outbreak, [company name] is actively taking safety precautions by instituting a Communicable Disease Management Policy.” If you click on the fake company policy, you’ll download malicious software.
Here’s an example.
Here’s how to avoid..
Check trusted sources directly. Scammers often use identity theft to pose as trusted and authoritative sources. Users should directly visit sources like the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to get the latest factual information about COVID‑19 and do not fall prey to these frauds.
Be cautious about sharing information. If you receive an unsolicited request for some kind of information, be cautious and take extra time to evaluate the message. Scammers ask you to share information like login information, bank details, and addresses, which is not required for a genuine helpline call.
Know how scammers may reach you. Scammers are taking advantage of the increase in COVID‑19 communications by disguising their scams as legitimate messages about the virus. Alongside emails, scammers may also use SMS, automated calls and malicious websites to reach you.
Check the email address or link. You can inspect a link by hovering your mouse button over the URL to see where it leads. Sometimes, it’s obvious the web address is not legitimate. But keep in mind phishers can create links that closely resemble legitimate addresses. Delete the email.
Watch for spelling and grammatical mistakes. If an email includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, it’s likely a sign you’ve received a phishing email. Delete it.
Look for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
Avoid emails that insist you act now. Phishing emails often try to create a sense of urgency or demand immediate action. The goal is to get you to click on a link and provide personal information — right now. Instead, delete the message.
Donate carefully: Fraudsters take advantage of goodwill and request donations for COVID-19 relief efforts. They also impersonate non-profit organisations to trick you into transferring money. To make a donation, you can directly visit the NGOs website instead of clicking links sent to you.
Search on the web: If you receive a fraudulent message or email, it’s likely the scammers have sent the same message to other people as well. Copy and paste the text or the most suspicious part into a search engine to check if it’s been reported by others. Chances are, you will find media reports regarding such kind of scams.
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