Unfortunately, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the viral headlines.
On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency – and unfortunately, fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the viral headlines.
New email phishing scams have been reported in which fraudsters are posing as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), WHO and other well-known health organizations in order to obtain personal information.
“We commonly see fraudsters try to take advantage of global uncertainty by attempting to get people to click malicious links, enter credentials on fraudulent websites or volunteer their personal information,” explains Nate Tuting, head of the Raymond James Cyber Threat Center. “We’ve seen them impersonate a legitimate email sender by using an email address ending in ‘cdcgov.org’ – something close enough to the legitimate ‘cdc.gov’ that unsuspecting recipients don’t realize it’s fake.” Tuting also warns that the scammer might even include the real organization’s logo somewhere in the email to feign credibility.
The emails may contain links or attachments promising “safety tips” to help prevent sickness or information on “new cases around your city.” Do not click on or open them. These links might send you to a scammer-controlled website designed to steal your log-in information, and attachments might be laden with computer viruses.
A few tips to remember as you work to keep your cyber-health secure:
And while we’re at it, a few tips for staying healthy overall:
These steps may seem basic, but they’re effective. By practicing these healthy habits, “you're less likely to get any type of disease, whether it’s a cold or a flu,” says Meekins, “and those same things apply to this coronavirus.”
Sources: cdc.gov, nbcnews.com