COVID-19 Scams on the Web and Phones

At a time when more of us are at home and we’re aiming to do the best for the communities around us, we need to be aware of people maliciously taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation in the form of scams on the web, via emails or even by phone in some cases. Most web-users have had to deal with a scam or dodgy site and unfortunately, this stuff still exists during such a difficult period.

We’re passionate about helping people protect what’s important to them and while our focus is on physical security products, this short article will highlight the importance of smart security on a digital front, as more and more of us use the internet in different situations during this challenging time.

According to Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), they received 94 reports of COVID-19 scams between the 1st of January 2020 to the 20th of March. These scammers are attempting to obtain people’s personal data, sell dodgy COVID-19-related products and steal people’s hard-earned money.

The good, smart habits that we use to protect ourselves on the web and in general also translate over to dealing with COVID-19 scams. If you do experience a scam of any sort, you can make a report on the Scamwatch website.

These scams and malicious attacks can come in multiple forms, including:

Phishing Emails and Phone Calls

Numerous reports have detailed that users have received phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities such as government organisations, the World Health Organisation and various businesses.

Fake / Dodgy Products

Various malicious websites are offering products that claim to offer vaccines or cures for COVID-19, though are ultimately of no use and just take your money. At the time of writing this, no vaccine or cure for COVID-19 currently exists.

Misinformation by Text, Social Media or Email

Malicious texts, social media posts/messages and emails are being sent out from impersonators and fake organisations, offering users a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 or other information.

Do not respond to unsolicited calls, emails or messages that request intricate personal information or financial details. Hang up on these callers or delete these messages.

Mobile Malware

Users are reporting malicious apps that can potentially infect your mobile device with malware or steal personal information. Some of these apps pretend they’re offering information about COVID-19.

Do not install apps from unofficial sources. Do your research and read legitimate reviews before installing any applications on your devices. Keep your device security up to date.

This is just a shortlist of the scams out there. It’s always a good habit to play it smart on the web and when protecting what’s important to you.

As always, we’re open and our team is here to help you with protecting your physical property.

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