Cybercriminals are going to great lengths to make as much profit as possible using the COVID-19 pandemic as a lure. Some of these attempts leverage off popular media streaming services and the retail industry. Here are some examples of these scams and tips on how to avoid being scammed.
The COVID-19 pandemic is currently affecting our lives in many ways, and one of them is the huge increase in fraud attempts that use pandemic related issues to lure people into scams, and then steal their money and/or information. Just last week, there were over 18 million monitored attempts of phishing and malware attacks using COVID-19 lures.
Some examples of these scam campaigns involve essential services, like supermarkets, and media streaming platforms, which have gained more popularity during the pandemic, such as Netflix.
Here are some notable examples of scams that have been spreading on the internet over the past few weeks:
Scam Example 1:
Scam Example 2:
Scam Example 3:
Below are some recommendations on how to decrease your chances of falling victim to similar scams:
- Be suspicious of every published COVID-19 special offer, especially those posted on social media or received from suspicious sources. Also, avoid opening links or attachments from people you don’t know.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Do your own research and check if the offer exists on the business’ legitimate platform/domain.
- Do not provide personal information or financial details to parties you are not completely sure are legitimate.
- Avoid accepting offers that state a certain product will “end soon”. This sense of urgency is meant to enhance the already induced panic of the situation, to pressure people into making irrational decisions.
- Look out for spelling and grammatical errors, as these are common traits of scam offers.
FraudWatch International is actively targeting all COVID-19 online scams to protect all Internet users from cyber criminals during this period. If you have been a victim, heard of an ongoing scam or have any other relevant information regarding scams or fake news, please report the details to Covid19@fraudwatchinternational.com.