Scammers sink to a new low with these phone scams preying on the fears of U.S. citizens offering hopes of better protecting themselves from the Coronavirus.
We’ve all received robocalls by now, but a new group of calls centered around the coronavirus has received the attention of the FCC. Covering a wide range of themes, these scam calls offer testing kits, scare you into getting your air conditioning ducts cleaned, pretend to be from charity organizations raising money, and even pretend to be from the World Health Organization! In most of these scams, the intent is to either fool you into giving up your credit card, or to collect personal health information.
The scams are so rampant, the FCC has posted a page dedicated to debunking these scams and even provide audio samples so you can be certain to not become a victim.
The FCC also provide some tips to avoid becoming a victim. These include:
- Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
- Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
- Be cautious if you’re being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
- Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
- Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
- Always check on a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating
Interestingly enough, these same bits of guidance equally apply to users within your organization when it comes to vishing, SMiShing, or phishing scams. Organizations can just as easily be the target of coronavirus-themed attacks – particularly when users are working from home, which can bring their defenses down. It’s only through continual Security Awareness Training and phishing that organizations can ensure that, despite tensions running high with COVID-19, users won’t fall for scams, whether seeing them in their personal or work email, on the phone, or via text.