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Cyber criminals exploiting coronavirus fears to pull off their latest scams

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The worldwide spread of the coronavirus is being exploited by cyber criminals through phishing scams designed to steal personal information and infect devices.

Online scammers are taking advantage of the public’s hunger for information about COVID-19 otherwise known as the novel coronavirus.

They do this by sending emails using the CDC Health Alert Network logo which claims to provide information about local active infection zones.

Recipients can click on a link to access the list before being asked to provide email log-in credentials which were then stolen.

These criminals are also going to the trouble of setting up fake websites that look like reputable sites offering information about the coronavirus and then serving malware to unprotected computers and devices.

NortonLifeLock has provided some tips on how you can protect yourself from these scams.

What Should You Do?

  1. If you are looking for information on the coronavirus, visit known reputable websites like the U.S. Center for Disease Control or the World Health Organization.
  2. Be on the lookout for phishing emails which may appear to come from a trusted source. Remember, you can look at the sender’s details – specifically the part of the email address after the ‘@’ symbol – in the ‘From’ line to see if it looks legitimate.
  3. Be wary of emails or phone calls offering unexpected or unprompted information. Also be aware of emails from unfamiliar sources that contain links or attachments. Do not click on these links, as they could be embedded with malware.
  4. Although social media companies like Facebook are cracking down on ads spreading coronavirus conspiracies and fake cures, some ads may make it past their review process. Remember, it’s best to seek information on the disease from official sources like those mentioned above.
  5. If you’re interested, read our article on spotting and protecting yourself against phishing attacks.
  6. Finally, to protect your devices against malware like the types that can come from a phishing attack, ensure that Norton protection is installed on all your devices. Sign into your Norton account to manage your device security.