Dodging the scammers
The government is wisely advising us to stay at home. The medical experts are wisely advising us to wash our hands frequently. And now, the cybersecurity gurus are wisely advising us to be even more vigilant regarding coronavirus scams. Insidious as it is… there are people out there still trying to do digital harm. But we won’t let them beat us!
What you need to watch out for…
Online websites: Authorities have seen a rise in complaints regarding products that have been ordered and paid for but not delivered. The obvious ones are for face masks, sanitiser, possibly even toilet paper! But, tickets, loans, even dating apps have seen a rise in dodgy behaviour. So be wary.
Phishing: Phishing emails aren’t a new problem, but coronavirus related messages are seeping through our mental defence shields and causing havoc. Malicious attachments, fraudulent data gathering, duplicate login pages… all these are presenting cyber security challenges. If you receive an email purportedly from an organisation like the World Health Organisation (WHO) be very cautious. Don’t click on any links, don’t subscribe to any newsletters, don’t make any donations through the email, and don’t suddenly start investing in Bitcoin if you’re not fully acquainted with the provider!
Another prevalent one is a fake email from HMRC advising people of a refund. It may look very convincing, but if it looks too good to be true… that adage still works. However, if you must check, go to HMRC’s website directly yourself and not via the email.
Our Top Tips
• Don’t click on links in emails or open attachments unless you know for sure who they’re from
• Only purchase from reputable suppliers online, and always use your credit card (you are then protected)
• Keep your anti-virus software up to date
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