Yesterday I told you about “pump and dump” stock scams related to the coronavirus outbreak. Scammers are always taking advantage of whatever has the public attention and turn it into an opportunity to scam people and the SEC has already warned the public about “pump and dump” stock scams related to the spread of the coronavirus. In another coronavirus related scam, cybercriminals are sending phishing emails in which they attempt to lure people into downloading malware infected attachments. In many instances the malware is keystroke logging malware that can steal your personal information from your phone or computer and use that information to make you a victim of identity theft. In other instances, ransomware malware is carried by the attachment. The phishing emails lure people into downloading the infected attachments by purporting to provide important information about the virus.
Phishing emails are a leading cause of many scams and even major data breaches. It is relatively easy to craft a legitimate appearing email that can use a variety or pretenses to trick people into clicking on links or downloading attachments. Anytime you get an unsolicited email that asks for personal information, instructs you to click on a link or download an attachment you should be wary. Remember my motto, trust me, you can’t trust anyone. Never provide personal information, click on a link or download an attachment unless you have absolutely confirmed that the email is legitimate.
You should also make sure that your phone, computer and any other devices you may have are protected by security software and update your security software with the latest security patches as soon as they become available. It is important to remember, however, that the most up to date security software will always be at least thirty days behind the latest strains of malware so you cannot depend on your security software to be 100% effective.
There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about the coronavirus so if you want information you can trust on this subject, you should make sure that you are going to a legitimate source such as the World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus