Scams Come into Both Your Emails and Texts!
It is vitally important that you pay close attention to any emails or texts you receive offering any sort of relief or protection from COVID-19. Scammers are out in force, using this pandemic as a means to get rich by swindling unsuspecting people out of their savings.
One example is an email that appears to come from the World Health Organization, in a Word document that claims to be produced using an earlier version of Microsoft Word that means the user needs to enable macros in order to see the content. By doing this, it executes a chain of commands that installs Trickbot (used to steal confidential information) on your machine.
The World Health Organization has asked people to check the address the email is coming from, stating that WHO communications only come from @who.int email addresses and that anything claiming to be the WHO sent from any other domain should be regarded with suspicion.
One email circulation has the subject ‘Coronavirus Customer Advisory Issue’ and comes with what claims to be a PDF attachment, but is in fact an executable file. If the user runs this, Lokibot malware is installed on the machine. Like Trickbot, Lokibot is primarily a trojan that creates a backdoor into Windows systems for stealing sensitive information from victims, including usernames, passwords and bank details.
Scams in Text Messages on Your Phone
Scammers are feeding off fears of the coronavirus pandemic to scare people into turning over sensitive personal information and money through text messages on phones. Calls and texts offering potential treatments or test kits or claiming to be from the Social Security Administration are on the rise.
- Don’t open any links that come from unknown sources.
- Verify before answering “Stop.” Stop is often used to allow you to opt out of receiving notifications from legitimate sources. Unfortunately, scammers can use it to access your info. Be sure you are replying “Stop” to a verified number.
- If in doubt, forward the text to this number: 7726 (It spells SPAM). Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all use this number. You can also block suspicious numbers. Learn how by looking at your phone’s particular instructions.
Look over these lists from the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the FBI for guidance.