Be careful: how scammers profit from panic due to coronavirus - ForumDaily
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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 has warned Americans about phishing, a widespread scam that sends email messages claiming to be from a reputable company. For example, from a large bank - in order to force victims to hand over sensitive 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 either results in unsuspecting victims opening the attachment, causing the malware to infect their computer, or in the victim entering their login credentials and having them stolen,” Secret Service officials 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 have quickly taken advantage of the coronavirus outbreak. This happens whenever there is a public health crisis or disaster in which people are desperate to find more information and do their part to help those affected,” Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate at Comparitech, said in February.

“The 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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“The companies do not have the evidence to back up their claims as required by law,” the Federal Trade Commission said in a statement. The Food 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.

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