Not surprisingly Zoom was the most downloaded app of 2020.  Zoom’s ability to enable people to virtually communicate, both for business and personal purposes, has been of tremendous value during the Coronoavirus pandemic.  However, as always, anything popular with the public will be popular with scammers and be used as a hook to scam people and Zoom is no exception.  Scammers are sending emails and text messages to their intended victims in which the scammers pose as Zoom employees.  In the text messages and emails which are often accompanied by a counterfeit logo to give the communication an appearance of legitimacy, the scammers attempt to lure people into clicking on links in the email or text message under the guise that the accounts of their intended victims have been suspended and need to be reactivated or in other cases that their intended victims had missed meetings and needed to click to see the details and reschedule.  In some instances the mere clicking on the link will download dangerous malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to identity theft.  In other instances, the link leads you to a phony Zoom page where you are prompted to enter your username and password.  Not only would this enable the scammer to take over you Zoom account, but if you use the same password for other online accounts such as your online banking account, you would put yourself in great jeopardy.  Studies have shown that 43% of people use the same password for multiple accounts.

TIPS

As I constantly advise you, never click on any link in an email or text message unless you have absolutely confirmed that it is legitimate.  The risk is too great.  You also shouldn’t be too confident that your security software will protect you from any malware that you might inadvertently download because even the most up to date security software is at least thirty days behind the latest zero day defect malware exploiting vulnerabilities for which there are no known defenses.

A good indication that the email is from a scammer is if the email address of the sender is not Zoom.com or Zoom.us which are the only official domains used by Zoom.  If the email address of the sender doesn’t match either ot those, you can be confident that it is a phishing email sent by a scammer.  However, even if the email address of the sender appears legitimate, it is still possible that it was sent by a scammer so you still shouldn’t click on the link.  Instead  go to zoom.us and click on the tab marked “support” at the top of the opening page where you can get help in determining if this was a scam.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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