Scammers ready to take advantage during COVID-19 crisis, warns tech guru
March 30, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in a growing digital workforce as millions of people have started to work from home. However, the trend is also creating a market for cyber-scammers.
"Cybersecurity is top of mind for hackers during a crisis," said Blake Dowling, the CEO of Aegis Business Solutions in Tallahassee. "They see opportunity while everyone else is scrambling to take care of their families and their businesses, they are thinking about how they can monetize the situation."
Dowling said the biggest ruse at the moment, are phishing scams: Fake emails, texts or even maps that prompt the viewer to click on something, then download malicious software onto your device that can watch everything you do.
Eventually, the hacker can steal passwords and banking information.
As an example, he pointed to a text a California Congresswoman received that offered a free iPhone to help during the coronavirus pandemic, and to an email that looked like it was from the World Health Organization.
There's also a fake Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking map.
Dowling's best advice is for online workers to keep their eyes open for anything that looks out of the ordinary and to look closely at the domain an email came from. Never click on a link in the unsolicited email and be wary of email attachments.
Often, a nefarious correspondence will be slightly off from what the real one will look like. If you are uncertain about the legitimacy of a link, you should open up a new browser and type in the organization's website and effort to access the page from there.
For more information from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on how to avoid Cyber scams,