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Be careful: how scammers profit from panic due to coronavirus

Criminals never miss a serious crisis. The Chinese coronavirus causing the disease known as COVID-19 is a great opportunity for them. Because it can usually encourage rational people to “weaken vigilance” and succumb to the tricks of fraudsters, reports Fox News.

Photo: Shutterstock

Here are the three most common methods of fraud in this area.

The secret service warned Americans about phishing, widespread fraud when emails came from an allegedly reputable company. For example, from a large bank - in order to force victims to transfer confidential personal information (usernames, passwords and credit card information).

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The Secret Service said cybercriminals are using the crisis in healthcare and are sending emails under the guise of medical companies or organizations.

In one case, victims received emails from a fake medical organization with attachments that allegedly contained important information about COVID-19.

“This leads either to the fact that unsuspecting victims open an attachment, as a result of which the malware infects their computer, or to the fact that the victim enters their credentials to log into the system and they are stolen,” the representatives of the Secret Service explained.

One such scam was discovered in February. In this case, the email with the subject of coronavirus stated that it was sent by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Hackers and cybercriminals quickly took advantage of the outbreak of coronavirus. This happens whenever there is a public health crisis or disaster in which people are desperate to find more information and contribute to helping those affected, ”said Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at Comparitech in February.

“Fake WHO emails follow the standard phishing formula,” he added.

Another scheme disclosed by the Secret Service uses social networks to trick victims by asking for donations for fictitious charities.

The third type of fraud that you should pay attention to is “delivery fraud.” Scammers appear to be employees of a company selling drugs that can protect against coronavirus. Criminals will demand an advance payment for delivery and medicine, but in the end the buyer will not receive any goods.

This week, the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration jointly sent warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and mislabeled products. These sellers claimed their drugs treated or prevent coronavirus infection.

Among these products are tea, essential oils and colloidal silver.

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“Companies have no evidence to support their words, as required by law,” the Federal Trade Commission statement said. The Food Control Administration added that there are currently no approved vaccines, drugs, or products to treat or prevent Chinese coronavirus disease.

Here are seven warning emails: Vital Silver, Aromatherapy Ltd., N-ergetics, GuruNanda LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy LLC and The Jim Bakker Show.

Miscellaneous crisis deception hackers scammers Educational program phishing Special Projects

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