While the coronavirus outbreak has many people worried about their physical health, some are taking this chance to prey on others’ financial health. The news can be nerve-wracking, and many e-mails are being sent from retailers, doctors’ offices, utilities providers, and more. Amidst the overwhelming flow of information, it’s too easy for someone to sneak in a phishing e-mail – and if you’re not careful, you might get caught up in it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has many simply cautious, but there are those that are so affected by the hectic situation that they act irrationally, and aren’t as careful as normal. Since you may be waiting on information from your workplace, the media, or any number of other companies and people, it’s easier for scammers to use that sense of urgency to take advantage of your rush. Some try to lure victims by appearing to be a message from the CDC. Others may seem to be using legitimate software for work-related reasons. No matter what they tell you, you must be wary of all communication at this time.
Some tips to help you remain vigilant include avoiding clicking on links and opening attachments in e-mails you didn’t ask for yourself. Only go to trusted sources such as the CDC or other government websites for fact-based updates on the coronavirus situation. Don’t respond to e-mails asking you for personal or financial information. Before donating to a charity, make sure they are legitimate so you are helping those in need and not just scammers.
One of the best things you can do right now is to stay positive but vigilant. For more detailed information on what to watch out for, check out the PhishLabs Blog, CISA article, and Credit Union Fraud Prevention Center. By taking care of ourselves and each other, we can get through any situation, no matter how intimidating it may seem. If you have any questions, please leave us a comment so we can help!