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As the Globe struggles to contain the Coronavirus pandemic, Digital Fraudsters have captured this opportunity to push their scam attacks. Barracuda, an AI-based Solution company detected Over 4 Lakhs phishing email attacks worldwide between March 1st to March 23rd; Out of which 2% are COVID-19 related scams. The global rise in COVID-19 cases has led to a craze for information about the disease. Cybercriminals and Fraudsters have been trying to take advantage of this surge in the public interest by targeting individuals with different communications giving out new information on the disease, deals on safety equipment and seeking donations.
Most commonly used format of these scams is:-
- Emails (which may not be detected in the spam filter)
- Text messages
- Phone Calls
- Social Media post or DMs
Here is what you need to watch out to stay safe from these Scams:
1. Alert of E-mailers which contains
- Fake Organization Names: A google search about the organization website would make things clearer.
- Wrongly Spelled Domain names: Scammers generally use WHO or CDC’s name to get highlighted. Hovering over the website link without clicking it would display the real address, if it differs than the said one simply doesn’t click on it.
- With Links or attachments: Do not click on the Link/attachment in an email coming from an unknown sender with very little information in the body text.
2. Misinformation and Fake Offers
- Avoid Texts which claims like ‘Mandatory COVID-19 Test’ with a malicious Link or alike.
- Avoid Robocalls offering employment through fake work-from-home schemes.
- Avoid Offers for COVID-19 Vaccination and Fraudulent Medical Equipment or home test Kit. There are no Vaccination or Home Test Kit available till date for Covid-19.
3. Charity Fraud
- Do your homework before doing Charity/Donation in the name of COVID-19 Relief fund. Scammers are seeking donations for non-existent charitable organizations through crowdfunding. Never donate in cash, gift card or wiring money and do a thorough research before donating.
What are the Trustworthy information Sources?
There are some trustworthy Governmental and Non-Governmental sources which you can refer to seek Covid-19 related information.
- For No of cases (Active, recovered, deaths) and other statistics visit https://covidindia.org/
- For myths, facts, precautions, Covid-19 related APP or any help related to Covid-19 visit https://www.mygov.in/or WhatsApp on 9013151515 or call at MyGov Corona Helpline no +91-11-23978046 or 1075
- For Donation to PM Cares Fund please visit to https://www.pmcares.gov.in/en/or visit any Nationalized Banks Website and redirect to PM Cares Fund for donation.
- For Vaccine related updates visit https://www.who.int/