COVID-19 Scams: How to Protect Yourself
The FTC is warning consumers to beware of spam and phishing attacks centered around COVID-19 fears.
Scammers will always try to take advantage of times of confusion and this crisis is no exception. Standard scam-avoidance advice still applies: don’t open attachments from unknown sources, don’t share your sensitive information with unknown actors, and verify information before acting on it.
Some COVID-19 scams you might see include:
- Someone claiming to be a government official who needs your information to issue a relief check.
- Sellers claiming to have large stocks of hard-to-find supplies available at suspiciously low prices.
- A charity asking for donations to be wired to them, paid in cash, or paid in gift cards.
The FCC recommends that you hang up on all robocalls and ignore any email or text messages about COVID-19 that come from unknown sources.
Aside from the standard, common-sense advice of not clicking strange links or answering strange calls you can protect yourself by doing the following:
- Secure your online identity; setting up multi-factor authentication on your online accounts can protect you from illegitimate access.
- Use a password manager or at least use strong usernames and passwords and don’t re-use passwords across accounts.
- Make sure your antivirus and operating system are up-to-date. If you need help with upgrading your operating system or installing an antivirus PMCS can help.
To get good, up-to-date information on COVID-19 check the CDC Website or visit your county information page.
To see what a COVID-19 phishing email looks like so you know what to avoid see the examples on Norton.Com.