Phishing attacks have become the new danger to exploit people’s fear about the lethal virus COVID-19. Cybercriminals send COVID-19 phishing emails claiming that they are from a legitimate organization with information regarding coronavirus. From 137 in January to 1188 in February, these COVID-19 email scams have seen a huge jump. It is important to know that there is no vaccine still known for coronavirus so any email regarding the medicine or cure for coronavirus should be ignored or reported.
Some emails contain attachments that claim to have statistics, on clicking the link it might download malicious software on your device. The cybercriminals will then have access to your PC and they will use your personal information or financial data which will lead to identity theft.
You have to take appropriate measures to save yourself from threats like these.
You can use the tricks given below to identify a COVID-19 phishing email scam:
- Getting emails from fake organizations – A simple online search of the organization can help you identify whether the organization exists or not.
- Wrongly spelled domain names – Phishing emails include convincing names so that people click on it. Even though the organization exists we need to check the authenticity. Kaspersky told that cybercriminals use cdc-gov.org to confuse people with the actual domain of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention which is cdc.gov. So you need to look carefully at the domain names of the organization.
- Identify the discordance – It was observed that there were cases where the cybercriminals claimed that the belong to WHO and asked for donations in terms of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. In reality WHO doesn’t accept donations in Bitcoin.
- Avoid emails that require immediate action – The main characteristic of phishing emails is to create a sense of urgency or insist to act now. Their goal is to make you click on the link so that they can have access to your personal information. Beware of such emails and delete them when you identify the discrepancy.
- Redirecting to an interface that requires you login details – Kaspersky also observed that when people click on certain links they are redirected to websites that have an interface similar to Microsoft Outlook. Which is just a mirage to get access to your login details and hack your account? Any random request like this that makes no sense must be reported.
- Giving information about vaccines – There is no vaccine that has been found for COVID-19 yet. So don’t fall into traps where people make fake promises to give you the cure for the COVID-19.
Tip: Hover on the link to find out which website you will be redirected to. Then verify whether it is authentic or not before clicking on it. It is very important to be safe in times like these so that people don’t take advantage of the vulnerable situation the world is going through.