March 31, 2020
Beware of Coronavirus Scams
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus continues to develop, your health and financial security continues to be our priority. Beware of the many circulating scams which exploit the fear and the uncertainty surrounding the virus.
Victims who don’t know better believe these missives are sent by legitimate agencies. While some of these emails and posts may actually provide useful information, they often also spread misinformation to promote fear-mongering, such as non-existing local diagnoses of the virus. Even worse, they infect the victims’ computers with malware which is then used to scrape personal information off the infected devices.
The phony purchase order. Scammers are hacking the computer systems at medical treatment centers and obtaining information about outstanding orders for face masks and other supplies. The scammers then send the buyer a phony purchase order listing the requested supplies and asking for payment. The employee at the medical treatment center wires payment directly into the scammer’s account. Unfortunately, they’ll have to pay the bill again when contacted by the legitimate supplier.
Basic preventative measures can keep the scammers from making you their next target.
As always, it’s important to keep the anti-malware and antivirus software on your computer up-to-date and to strengthen the security settings on all of your devices.
Practice responsible browsing when online. Never download an attachment from an unknown source or click on links embedded in an email or social media post from an unknown sender. Don’t share sensitive information online either. If you’re unsure about a website’s authenticity, check the URL and look for the lock icon and the “s” after the “http” which indicate that the site is secure.
Finally, it’s a good idea to stay updated on the latest news about the coronavirus to avoid falling prey to misinformation. After days of negotiations and last-minute changes, the Senate and the White House have signed a historic $2 trillion stimulus plan to help mitigate the economic fallout of COVID-19. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) will put cash directly into people’s pockets, provide desperately needed funding for hospitals and help struggling businesses remain afloat in these financially fragile times.
Check the actual CDC and WHO websites for the latest updates.
If you are unsure of whether you are being targeted by a scam, feel free to reach out to us for help.
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