Coronavirus outbreak exploited by internet scammers
Americans are advised to stay watchful of cybercriminals’ attempts to misuse the life-threatening Coronavirus epidemic by the U.S. Secret Service. According to the agency, internet fraudsters are taking advantage of the terror caused by the unconventional Coronavirus, COVID-19, including the goodwill of individuals towards helping the affectees.
Scammers exploiting coronavirus in emails, on social media: Secret Service https://t.co/882NYkh0wS
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) March 10, 2020
The U.S. Secret Service, in a press release, stated, “Criminals are opportunists, and as seen in the past, any major news event can become an opportunity for groups or individuals with malicious intentions. The Coronavirus is no different,”
One type of internet scam involved a large number of scam emails containing malicious attachments that purposely damage the computers of individuals that open them. Another type involves cybercriminals asking for donations on social media platforms for fake causes supposedly involving Coronavirus.
It was also noted that since the outbreak, a substantial number of people have started working from home, which has further increased their dependence on the internet for communication.
The U.S. Secret Service advised that the recipients of emails involving the COVID-19 should keep themselves from attachments or links present in the messages from senders they are unaware of. It is emphasized that individuals should practice enhanced vigilance and care when considering donating to charitable organizations.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 109,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally since the disease was discovered in December. As of Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have placed the number of domestic infections at 423 and counting.