What the Tech: Coronavirus scam

What the Tech

As if the coronavirus threat wasn’t scary enough, something far more likely could make you a victim.

Scammers are sending out emails that appear to come from the Centers for Disease Control.

The email says there are new cases of the virus in your city, and asks you to click a link to see a list. Security lab Trustwave first identified these emails. And point out how to spot a fake.

Look at the link address, just because it appears to come from cdc.gov doesn’t mean it is. Hover mouse or pointer over the link you’ll see at the bottom to make sure it is coming from the CDC. In the examples discovered by Trustwave, the links were going to an outside website not affiliated with the CDC or World Health Organization.

That page asks you to login or sign-up using Microsoft Outlook. People are using their primary email address to set up an account, and if they’re like most people, they’re going to use a password they’re using somewhere else such as their social media account or even their bank or email. By doing that, the scammer will have access to any account using the same username and password.

Links in scammy emails can also install malware on your computer simply by clicking on it. The malware can infect your home network and can install software that logs keystrokes and sends them back to the scammer or hacker.

The World Health Organization has actually issued a warning to watch out for these scams. In an alert WHO said it would

  • Never ask you to login information
  • Never email attachments you didn’t ask for
  • Never ask you to visit an outside website

So how do you protect yourself? Don’t click on links sent in an email and be suspicious of any email coming from a bank or the government.

If you suspect it’s legitimate, call them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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