The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives of people all around the world. We all adapted to the new lifestyle we’re living, but such days force us to look for one ray of hope out there.
Unfortunately, that hope is what scammers prey on to attempt all sorts of malicious actions, including financial and identity theft scams.
Fear and panic over COVID-19 aside, now people have to worry about cybercriminals in the virtual world as well.
A few days ago, the Federal Trade Commission stated that fraudsters are using their name in emails, attempting to trick targets into sharing their personal or financial information.
The Official-Unofficial Scam
According to the FTC, scammers are pretending to be government’s official from the company to gain users’ trust.
We all know that due to this CoronaVirus crisis, unemployment rates skyrocketed and many people’s budgets and cash flows have decreased.
Now that most people are looking for any aid they can get, scammers are viewing these as ripe conditions to make their move.
The attackers are sending emails to their targets, claiming to be from the FTC. In this email, they promise to give money courtesy of the Global Empowerment Fund.
The email prompts the user to respond with his/her bank account information and the funds will be transferred to their account immediately.
FTC responded to that, saying that this is a scam that users should not fall for. Here’s what they have to say about it:
“There’s no money and there’s no fund. And it’s not from the FTC. If you get a message like this, don’t respond. Instead, report it to the real FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
The FTC will never contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media to ask for your financial information. (Or your Social Security number.) Anyone who does is a scammer, phishing for your information.
If you’re getting an economic stimulus payment, that money will come from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you think you gave your financial information to a scammer, go to IdentityTheft.gov for steps you can take to protect yourself. To keep up with the latest scams, sign up for the FTC’s consumer alerts.”
A quick advice. Whatever email you receive, double check the source by visiting the official website instead of clicking the link in it.
It might take a few more seconds to complete the process, but at least you’ll know that your data is safe.
Moreover, we know that these times are hard and everyone is looking for all the help they can get. But don’t let your emotions get to you and rush to the first solution you get, especially when it’s online.
Your data is always at risk, and if harvested, there can be dangerous repercussions. The best thing you can do is avoid any link you get and enhance your security knowledge.
There are hundreds of credible websites you can turn to for information. Websites like The VPN Guru and the likes provide comprehensive guides and walkthroughs on how to protect your online security and privacy.
This cannot be taken lightly, so do whatever you can, read as much as you can, so you could have a smoother and much safer internet experience.