Amid COVID-19 Pandemic and Scams, FTC Alarms Public

Amid the coronavirus epidemic and panic among the public, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has urged the public to stay aware of the hackers that might try to attack their devices during these vulnerable times. FTC has generated a list of hacking tricks and strategies that the hackers use to attack susceptible users amid the coronavirus epidemic. Cybersecurity has become FTC's primary concern on its 2nd alert notification about various ways the hackers are using to launch cyberattacks for their profits because of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to cybersecurity experts, in one of the latest incidents, hackers are sending users fake emails claiming that they have the necessary supplies of groceries or that they have the cures for coronavirus. In another widespread episode, hackers sent users fake WHO advisory about the 'safety tips to follow to prevent yourself from COVID-19.' According to FTI's caution, if the users download information using the given links or open any websites via these phishing emails, malware gets installed in the systems. The hackers can steal critical personal information and also control the target's access. "Last month, we alerted you to Coronavirus scams we saw at the time. Earlier this month, we sent warning letters to seven sellers of scam Coronavirus treatments. So far, all of the companies have made significant changes to their advertising to remove unsupported claims. But scammers don't take a break," says FTC on its website.

But all of this is just a needle in the haystack. The hackers are also targeting victims via false claims of refund and relief organizations by asking the users donations. "Other scammers have used real information to infect computers with malware. For example, malicious websites used the real Johns Hopkins University interactive dashboard of Coronavirus infections and deaths to spread password-stealing malware," said FTC.

How to stay safe?
Follow these simple steps to prevent yourself from frauds and scams: 

  • Keep your smartphones and computers updated. 
  • Use 2 step verification for all your accounts and back up your data. 
  • Research online before making donations, don't trust frauds claiming to be any health organization. Avoid wired transactions. 
  • Avoid calls by scammers and hang up immediately. 
  • Don't forward and share unverified information, even if it comes from trusted individuals.