Concensus Avoiding Scams Blog

Avoiding COVID-19 Cyber Scams

| May 6, 2020

While most people will handle unsolicited incoming calls with healthy suspicion, especially when it comes to numbers or callers that they don’t recognize, for some reason, the same logic doesn’t always apply to opening emails. It stands to reason then that this is where scams, cybercriminals, and phishing attacks tend to wreak havoc the most.

Cybercrimes are increasing as cybercriminals take advantage of the COVID-19 environment, aiming to gain access to sensitive business and financial information in the middle of a crisis. It’s more important than ever to protect your business, your employees, and your customers. Here are some typical COVID-19 email or phishing scam tactics that you and your employees need to keep in mind. 

  • Automatically take caution with any email using “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” language and especially emails with language asking for information or action, for example, asking you to click a link or provide a login and password. Verify the email contents with the sender to be sure it is legitimate. 
  • Even if the message seems to come from a known sender, verify what the sender is asking you outside of the email, so either in person or via phone. Gaining access to information, such as passwords and logins, is a prime goal of hackers and cybercriminals, especially if this email is asking you to do something such as verify your password, share information, or transfer money, verify the email.
  • Use caution with an email that contains a link. It’s best not to click on links from unknown senders or emails you’re unfamiliar with. Try hovering your mouse over the link to see if the actual URL is going to take to an official, legitimate site. Many bogus links may take you to a website that looks legitimate, so be sure any link is valid before you click it. If anything appears questionable in any way, delete the email without clicking the link and inform your IT team.
  • Take caution with an email that includes a download. As a best practice, companies should be sharing documents via the cloud and get out of the habit of sending email attachments. Unless there is a reason you are expecting to receive a download, delete the email. 
  • Also, keep your home WIFI secure and your computer up-to-date on security and firewall systems. Malware can come through your network via emails, links, or downloads, and can capture every keystroke a user types into the computer. This can include a person’s passwords and logins or other sensitive personal, financial, or business information.

Cybercriminals are savvier than ever, and now is when they are at their worst. Our entire team at Concensus is here to help you and your business to remain safe during the COVID-19 crisis. 

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