Watch out for these COVID online scams
There are many unscrupulous internet criminals. I’m sure you have seen many email phishing attempts over the last few years.
However, the current coronavirus situation seems to have exacerbated these online scam artists.
In this article, we’re going to outline some of the most common online scams currently happening and what to watch out for.
1 – The Zoom meeting request online scams
Whilst Zoom has had a lot of bad press recently, scammers are now exploiting its popularity with meeting requests. In the example above, this almost looks like a legitimate request. However, on closer inspection, the email address and text look off.
The URL mentioned in the email takes you to a phishing website.
2 – Working from home remote support request
With many now working from home, a remote support request from your IT department or provider may look genuine.
However, it’s just playing on current fears and circumstances we find ourselves in. In the email example above, here’s what is wrong:
- The display name and the email address are non-consistent.
- This sender’s email address is a spoof of the real domain.
- The way this email is constructed – poor grammar and impersonal – makes it obvious that this is not legitimate.
- The target is being encouraged to follow a link, which looks inconspicuous. But, upon hovering, you’ll see that the link the target will actually be led to is suspicious.
3 – Click here for a cure online scams
A cybersecurity research firm first noticed a strange email being sent to customers in February. The message from a mysterious doctor claiming to have details about a vaccine being covered up by the world governments.
The company says people who click on the attached file are taken to a fake webpage designed to capture login details.
“We have seen 35-plus consecutive days of malicious coronavirus email campaigns. With many using fear to convince victims to click,” says Sherrod DeGrippo from the company’s threat research and detection team.
“It’s obvious these campaigns are returning dividends for cyber-criminals,” says Ms DeGrippo.
The best way to see where a link will take you is to hover your mouse cursor over it to reveal the true web address. If it looks suspicious, don’t click.
4 – Fake online ads scams
Scammers have posted ads that claim to offer cures for the COVID-19. The ads frequently try to create a sense of urgency — for example, “Buy now, limited time only.”
At least two bad things could happen if you respond to these ads.
- One, you might click on an ad and download malware onto your device.
- Two, you might buy the product and receive something useless, or nothing at all. Meanwhile, you may have shared personal information such as your name, address, and credit card number.
It’s intelligent to avoid any ads seeking to capitalise on the coronavirus.
These are only a few examples we’ve provided here. There are many more online scams currently in operation that are capitalising on the coronavirus.