Beware of COVID-19 Scams

Courtesy Pixabay

It had to happen. As soon as anyone and everyone who is at home right now due to the coronavirus pandemic turned on their personal computers, the Bad Actors came along. And that doesn’t mean the folks in New York City and Hollywood who won’t get hired for a role, either. The Bad Actors, in this case, are the hackers.

Our Corporate Computer IT, Matt, sent some sage advice to all of us jocks, salespersons, newsies, support staff, and management yesterday. He let us know that the hackers that we should be looking for are those who send us official-looking emails that look like a press release, or some communication that appears to be ‘tips for cyber-security.’ Many times, these go to a compromised website. Matt said:

Don’t click links in emails unless you are expecting them.

Never Download Attachments unless you’re expecting them.

Matt reminded us all to only browse websites that are known sources of information, such as: the CDC, CNN, Fox News, msnbc, CBS, and so forth. Don’t bother going to something like ‘covid19tracker’. You may very well land yourself on a compromised website, even if the site uses a familiar logo that you recognize. That’s another way to get you to click on it. Don’t do it.

Matt also cautioned us to practice good email habits, because scams are on the rise right now.

These will most likely be talking about the Stimulus Checks and Target your bank account. Recovery Checks will not require Email Forms, Do Not Respond or engage with any emails claiming they provide stimulus checks.

They will also not require Text messages responses. (SMS messaging)

Matt went even further to explain that good hackers can look as if their email comes from the government or even your bank. But if we click on the link in the email, we can be sent to a site designed to steal identity or money. Not good.

Be cautious of emails that have a sense of urgency, “act now” “immediate Action required” is usually part of a con. Be cautious of emails that may employ a scare tactic like “We’ve processed your $3,560.00 order from your bank account.”

Regarding your online retail or credit accounts, he also advises,

For any of your online accounts, Do not follow email links to take action, open up a new browser window or tab and login to your service (bank, ebay, paypal, amazon, etc….)
If there is a legitimate alert on your account, you’ll be able to take care of it through the website for that service.

Although this information was actually sent as an inter-office memo, the information may apply to all of us. Remember and use this Good Advice For Bad Actors.

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