Consumers need to be aware that there are cybercriminals that are exploiting the spread of Coronavirus for their own gain using “Coronamania” panic to spread Coronavirus scams.
Coronavirus scams take advantage of people’s concerns for their health and safety and trick them using social engineering. Social engineering is when criminals try to manipulate you to reveal confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes.
These new scams include spoofed emails offering products such as masks, or fake offerings of vaccines, leading to the use of fake websites. These emails come from seemingly realistic and trustworthy companies which trick people into clicking on links. Some of these websites ask you for personal information which then ends up in the hands of cybercriminals.
Cybercriminals are also using SMS Phishing, more commonly known as SMishing, to trick victims into clicking on a link disguised as information on a Coronavirus breakout in their area to steal their credentials. Some of these texts claim to provide free masks or pretend to be companies that have experienced delays in deliveries due to the Coronavirus.
Once criminals have the correct level of confidential information about a victim’s bank account, they can impersonate the victim and transact using the correct credentials but without authority.
Please note that some of these emails can look very professional.
Please think twice before clicking on any link, even if an email looks legitimate. Any suspicious emails should not be opened and are best deleted.
Take note of the following tips to protect yourself:
- Do not click on links or icons in unsolicited emails or SMSes.
- Never reply to these emails. Delete them immediately.
- Check that you are on the authentic/real site before entering any personal information.
- Legitimate public service announcements via SMS such as those being sent daily by your cell phone provider about COVID-19 will not request any personal information and will only provide an authentic link or SMSes (www.gov.za).
Regard urgent security alerts or deals that are too good to be true as warning signs of an attempt to steal your credentials.
For more information go to www.sabric.co.za