As the death and infection toll of COVID-19 continues to rise across the nation, scammers are using phishing scams as an opportunity to target vulnerable and emotional individuals. While people are distracted with their finances, employment, education, health, and the health of their loved ones, scammers are reaping the benefits. We are all familiar with scammers and know to watch out for them during the holiday season, but with so many other thoughts consuming our lives, looking out for scams seems to be low on our priority list.
Many scammers are posing as representatives or authorities from well-known organizations like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of these scammers send emails offering information, only to trick the respondent into downloading viruses that can access login credentials and other sensitive information. Some scams involve clicking on outside links that pose to be authoritative websites for information concerning the virus. Others use voice messages that appear to originate from the CDC through caller ID, asking for donations or tricking the respondent into giving up sensitive information. While there are many malicious scams circulating around, there are ways to safely identify a scam and report it to authorities. Here are a few helpful tips to remember the next time you receive a suspicious phone call or email.
Think before you click
Now more than ever, it’s important to slow down and pay attention to all the emails you receive. Take caution when you don’t recognize the sender, and if you’re suspicious don’t open it.
Many falsified emails will include a link that has the ability to hack your software and collect all personal information you might have stored on your computer such as passwords, usernames, bank information and card numbers. If the email has an action item or encourages you to take action, it’s best to delete the email, or do your research online before actually clicking on the link.
Don’t act quickly
Scammers seeking to perform phishing scams call you on the phone and pressure you to give up personal information, like your banking information, quickly, without giving you the opportunity to think. They might pose as a loved one, a representative from a well-known organization, or a charity tricking you into a donation. In this situation, never give your information over the phone. Instead, ask for a website or a brochure to be sent to your home. Once you receive this information, you can do your own investigative work.
Keep personal information private
Many scammers will ask you for personal information other than your banking information, such as your address, the names of your family members, where you work or where your relatives work. They might use this information to access your passwords or call at a later date to pretend to be someone in your family. Always keep your personal information to yourself.
Look for third-party sources
Another phishing attempt many scammers try is to pretend to be charities that work to secure funds for legitimate organizations. Unless an organization that you are familiar with contacts you directly, which most never do, use caution.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are working hard to keep our patients safe and their families informed. If you have any questions on our offerings or the precautions we’re taking to ensure the safety of our employees and patients during this time, please contact us.