Fraudsters try to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made many people around the globe work from home and use online services. In this article, Estonian IT company GetID identifies every type of scam you can face in these hard times and tells you how to protect yourself and not become the victim of online scheming.

Stealing money from your bank account
Those attacks have been the trend among fraudsters even before pandemic times, but coronavirus brought many new users to those services, which never transferred money online before and they are the most vulnerable victims.

Right now, many people donating to coronavirus related charities and scammers can send you emails pretending they are, for instance, a fund helping infected elderly people. Do not trust those emails and never share your debit or credit card information to do the donation. Check it twice beforehand.

Another piece of advice: never use a debit card for online purchases because it would be harder to get your money back once you send it to the fraudulent service. Many services mimicking food delivery services or online cinemas have popped up during coronavirus quarantine and they all want users to fill in personal data and credit card information. Double-check the service, even if they offer to purchase an unlimited number of movies for $1 and the offer is valid only 24 hours. Once the fraudsters know credit card or debit card data, they can steal a large amount of money.

coronavirus cyber fraud
(Alexander Supertramp/Shutterstock)

Attacks on the remote employees’ personal devices
COVID-19 has ended up a top-of-thoughts trouble dominating daily lives, and the toll it is taking on corporations from every enterprise is climbing. In an attempt to include the rapidly spreading virus and to preserve their personnel, many corporations are restricting travel and asking, or even requiring, their employees to work from home. But there are safety risks and obstacles which might lead to corporate data leak. What should the present remote workers consider?

Be careful when using public WiFi to access sensitive data/fill in the passwords. Information shared in unsecured public connections can easily be stolen by hackers. So, it seems to be the best idea to really stay at home and not go to work in a co-working space, coffee shop or city park.

You should make sure that your company uses endpoint security. Simply, every device that has a connection to the corporate network is an ability access vector for a cybercriminal. All the remote devices accessing corporate networks or intranet should be protected.

Maintain information privacy and integrity when using your personal device for work. Retaining ongoing statistics privacy is challenging because of the boom in each targeted assault and human error. You should not store statistics on a personal device and try to hold the whole job-related information in a secure cloud or online drive. A decentralised work environment also increases the chance of misplacing or losing gadgets. Preventative measures on these threats include putting in software wherein sensitive facts are stored that allows the enterprise to delete all the sensitive data from the device remotely.

coronavirus cyber fraud
(Alfa Photo/Shutterstock)

Phishing emails
There are many phishing emails with coronavirus related topics. Do not even open those. Most of them are not from the local authorities but from scammers. Also, do not click on any links even if you received an email from your provider or food delivery service. Clicking on the link might install a spying programme on your computer which will lead to your personal data leak.

What is important to remember for your own cybersecurity during the quarantine
There are simple measures to keep your private and work data safe these times.

When it comes to phishing emails, avoid clicking on any links. Even if the sender looks familiar try to realise: does this email look suspicious? Is it urgently required for you to perform some action? If yes, those are the features of online fraud.

If you shop online, first of all, look for “https” in the domain name. If there is no such thing, it might be a scammer site just copying the original one. Also, look for spelling errors on the website and for subdomain: amazon.com is not the same as amazon.org. And better avoid shopping in the new online stores you have never seen before.

Better ignore too generous online offers and vaccinations. Those might be fraudsters’ attacks too.

Share this information with your friends and family, try not to panic, use only trusted services that you are familiar with and stay home. This time will pass soon!

GetID is an Information Technology company located in Tallinn, Estonia.

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