We can not reiterate enough the need for everyone to stay vigilant for scammers during this crisis. Google announced that it observed more than 18 million daily malware or phishing attacks. These stats are on top of more than 240 million daily spam messages related to COVID-19.
Exploiting The COVID-19 Fear
The phishing and scam attempts look to capitalize on the situation by using fear and financial incentives to get the users to respond. These attacks are the same used before COVID-19 but repurposed to take advantage of the situation. The scammers impersonate organizations like the CDC, IRS, and WHO.
They attempt to get donations to help fight the virus or trick users into downloading malware to their devices. Many scammers use the passage of the stimulus as an excuse to obtain personal information.
To fight them, Google uses artificial intelligence to filter out these threats. However, follow the usual steps to protect yourself:
- Don’t click on links in emails unless you know where it goes
- Report phishing emails, especially if you are working remotely
- Verify the legitimacy of any email or URL before handing over any personal information. Pay close attention to the links as scammers try very hard to make them as close to the real thing as possible.
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