Scammers cashing in on the Coronavirus crisis are now hijacking Twitter accounts to heavily promote a web site purporting to sell face masks, respirators, digital thermometers, and toilet rolls. If you’ve visited your local grocery store, you know how hard it is to get these items and some stores are starting to ration.
Hand sanitizer, surgical masks, and latex gloves are almost impossible to find. Unfortunately, the current crisis creates a perfect storm of opportunity for bad guys who are happy to grab your credentials, if not your money.
Some users are so panicked they will not bother to notice or will willingly overlook social engineering red flags like hastily built websites, poor grammar, prices too good to believe, and products that are probably not available. Additionally, the goods are more than likely phony.
According to Motherboard Vice, “Hackers have taken over a wave of Twitter accounts to aggressively advertise a website that claims to be selling face masks and toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Wearing mask make you away from COVID-19," one tweet in broken English from a hacked account reads, which then includes a tweet to a website called "Masks 2 U."
Twitter responded to Motherboard inquiry with this response:
"Currently, our team is not seeing large-scale coordinated platform manipulation surrounding the Covid-19 conversation. As is standard, we will remove any pockets of smaller coordinated attempts to distort or inorganically influence the conversation. Additionally, we’re continuing to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules—half of which we catch before they’re ever reported to us. If people see anything suspicious about our service, please report it to us. This is an evolving global conversation, and we will remain vigilant," a Twitter spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement.”
This is only the leading edge of what will be a continuous wave of Coronavirus scams targeting everyone so please don’t get caught in the phishing feeding frenzy. Bad guys, thieves, and scammers will continue to improvise and target consumers, businesses, and now more than ever employees working from home!