The Secret Service is warning Americans that criminals are using the coronavirus outbreak to steal their hard-earned cash and personal information.
The federal authorities have identified three scams are infiltrating peoples’ email inboxes. They include phishing, social engineering and non-delivery scams.
In many cases, they look like they’re coming from legitimate sources. But there are some signs that will help you identify the scam.
With phishing, the Secret Service says victims got emails from a health organization with attachments claiming to have information on the virus. When victims opened it, it led to malware infecting their systems or prompted them to enter their email login credentials.
This email uncovered by the cyber security firm Trustwave might look like a message from the CDC. In reality, it’s just a way for scammers to gain access to your device and data.
You’ll notice that the email contains an updated list of new cases in your city. But when the link is copied and pasted into a separate search bar, the website it supposedly goes to doesn’t actually exist.
Still, if you were to click on it, you might have just opened the door to a scam.
Scammers are also getting unsuspecting victims to hand over money to fake charities related to the virus or for in-demand medical supplies. They pose as a medical supply company selling medical supplies to prevent or protect people from the coronavirus. The scammers will usually demand money upfront, then they won’t deliver the products.
To avoid falling victim, the Secret Service says you should never open attachments or click on links from senders you don’t recognize.
Also, make sure you watch for emails pretending to come from legitimate sources like the CDC. If you do get one, don’t click anything, just head directly to the CDC website to get the most up to date information.