Individual Cyber Security
Common COVID-19 and IT Cyber Scams: How to protect yourself
Don’t Let Scammers Fool You
Protect yourself from cybercriminals and hackers by educating yourself on some common scams designed to trick you into giving out your personal information or get to your money. We’ve highlighted the details of common COVID-19 scams and IT scams so you can arm yourself with the tools to stay cyber safe.
Many scammers are leveraging the latest information and fears around the short supply of COVID-19 vaccines to trick people into signing up for “supposed" vaccine appointments. Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, emails, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate these and other COVID-19-related scams. For example, fraudsters are offering COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information.
If you click on a link, download an attachment or provide information over the phone, cybercriminals could be stealing your credentials and personal information for financial gain.
One more important reminder as it relates to COVID-19. Avoid posting your vaccination record card on social media as it can be a rich source of intel (birthdays, names, vaccination sites) for fraudsters, hackers and other cybercriminals. This personal information can be used to craft convincing, individually-tailored phishing campaigns. For instance, scammers can use it to send messages masquerading as follow-ups from the clinic where an individual received the vaccine, asking for a fraudulent “click here” to schedule an appointment that could instead lead to downloading malware or other malicious result.
There has been a big spike in IT scams recently, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Fraudsters may attempt to initiate contact with you through an email, a phone call, or computer pop-ups claiming to be with a legitimate company (for example, Amazon, Microsoft, and anti-virus software companies). They inform the target victim that their computer is infected, that they have fraudulent charges, or they are entitled to some type of refund. The fraudster will then request remote access into your device, instructing you to login into your banking website, and proceed to conduct fraudulent activity such as a money transfer.