As the United States and the world deal with the ongoing pandemic, we know that cybercriminals will make an attempt to capitalize on the situation. How do you avoid becoming a victim of these types of attacks? Ask yourself if the request makes sense. Check the email address of the sender. Does the sender's email address include an extension that you would expect? Whenever you receive an "urgent" email communication, the first thing you should do is contact the sender using another mode, such as phone or text message, and confirm that the email is legitimate. If something seems off to you, it probably is.
There are threats you should be aware of so you can take steps to protect yourself.
In March, scammers sent around an email with an attachment claiming to be from the World Health Organization - what it really did was load malicious software on a PC to glean data.
The State of Maryland warns about people attempting to get access to your funds by pushing a vaccine for COVID-19. Since vaccines are now available, be sure to schedule an appointment to receive your shot(s) only from legitimate providers such as your local health department, hospital, participating pharmacies, etc.
The IRS is warning everyone to be aware of calls and email phishing attempts – the IRS will not call to ask you to verify or provide your personal financial information. They also urge you to be on the lookout for text messages, websites and social media posts asking for money.
The FBI has also issued some information about what they expect to see tied to scammers looking to steal your money.
As the situation continues to unfold, so will more scams. Be vigilant!