As a result from the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been forced to work from home. And as sad as it is, scammers have identified this crisis as an opportunity to target the world with malicious links in order to gain access to personal information. These scams are presented in numerous ways, however in most cases, come in the form of unsolicited phone calls, emails and text messages.

Common COVID-19 related scams are designed to provide misinformation regarding COVID-19. These scams often offer some kind of financial aid to people undergoing hardship due to the Coronavirus – such as links to fake Government related payments.

The best way to protect you and your business from scammers is knowing how to spot the most common traits of phishing emails and messages, these include:

  • Communication not personally addressed to you (or anyone) in particular – scammers typically send these emails and text messages to thousands of people at a time hoping that a few people will bite. We suggest you immediately delete any unsolicited email or text message you receive that isn’t addressed to you.
  • Communications containing links and/or attachments to download – almost every phishing email will direct you to click on a link or download a malicious attachment disguised as what appears to be a legitimate document in order to gain access to your system. Be wary of any links sent to you via email or text message – it’s always best to contact the sender yourself in order to verify that the link is legitimate.
  • Communications designed to elicit an emotional response – often scammers will target vulnerable people with ‘too good to be true’ offers that will solve their problems in order to bait them into clicking on links or opening attachments. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you believe you may have been a victim of a COVID-19 related scam you can make a report on the Scamwatch website and follow this link to find out where to get help.

For more information on how to protect yourself from COVID19 related scams, refer to this link.

– David Gorman

Posted 15.04.2020

This article is compiled as a helpful guide for your private information and is subject to copyright. We suggest that you do not act solely on the basis of material contained in this article because items are of general nature only and may be liable to misinterpretation in particular circumstances. We recommend that our advice be sought before acting on any of these crucial areas.

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