They're Here! COVID-19 Stimulus Check Phishes Finally Arrive



Theyre-hereLast week the FBI warned Americans to be on the look-out for malicious emails attempting to bamboozle users with news surrounding economic fiscal stimulus checks that were to be delivered to citizens in coming weeks. A day later we reported on a pair of phishing emails that seemed to be using early versions of just that very social engineering scheme.

Well, today those much anticipated stimulus check phishes finally arrived -- in unambiguously proper form. Here's the first one that we spotted.

coronavirus_stimulus-phishing-email

There are a couple of interesting aspects to this particular phish. First, the embedded link redirects through Google to a landing page on a server that is currently not responding. Either the server is down or is buckling under the load of users trying to get their stimulus checks. Just what that landing page delivers to users -- malware or a credentials phish -- is unknown at present, but it is sure to be malicious.

Second, although this phish is obviously tailored to exploit very recent news surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, this kind of social engineering scheme is actually standard fare for the bad guys: spoofed emails purportedly hailing from American Express, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, or even PayPal and dangling supposed payments (aka free money, a favorite lure of fraudsters) in front of punters.

Third, wittingly or unwittingly, this particular social engineering scheme — which has Amex delivering government stimulus checks to recipients -- actually dovetails quite nicely with reality. See this Bloomberg article from yesterday.

We will undoubtedly see a number of variants on this one.


Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before the bad guys do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
  • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

https://www.knowbe4.com/phishing-security-test-offer

Subscribe To Our Blog


Free Cybersecurity Awareness Month Resource Kit




Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews