Watch out for opportunistic fraudsters who will exploit anything for personal gain, including the fear, anxiety and the unknown surrounding the coronavirus. Fraud attempts can come via phone calls, texts, emails, websites, and even mail or faxes.
Email and phone scams include phishing for personal information by impersonating health officials. Donation requests to fund emergency plans have also been reported. Emails falsely claiming the virus is in the recipient's area encourage clicking a link and entering an email password to read more.
How can you prevent being a target of a phishing scam?
- NEVER respond to an email asking you to verify or update your personal information.
- Delete any unsolicited email in your email accounts – don’t even open them!
- Never give out your personal or financial information on the phone or online unless you initiated contact.
- Verify the HTTPS on the address bar.
- Check the email address by hovering over it.
- Watch for suspicious or misleading domain names.
- Hang up and call back if you receive a phone call with a known phone number.
- Research the company and their phone number; do not use any number or link that was given in an email.
- Update security software/firewalls.
- Back up your data.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for more information on How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams