This is a reminder to look out for scammers using the coronavirus to enrich themselves.
Isn’t it strange that some people see a crisis as an opportunity to help, while scammers use crises as their feeding grounds? This nothing new, and scammers are having a field day with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Many of us see the world and humankind through rose-tinted lenses. However, daily news reports show that it is naive to think that all people are friendly and good-natured.
As if it is not enough to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the coronavirus, we have to be wary of falling victim to scammers. Since the start of the pandemic, Facebook, Amazon and various other platforms are used to launch scams. Some attacks aim to solicit peoples’ information, while others prey on the virus-related fears of people. An expert in this field of security explained how scammers work and how to avoid falling victim to them.
Amazon — beware of scammers
The nature of online business makes it difficult to identify third-party sellers on Amazon. The safest bet is to stick to items with “Ships and Sold by Amazon.com.” labels. Be very careful when buying specialized items like medical devices from an unknown entity. Make use of Amazon’s features to identify and rate sellers.
Click on the “Buy now” button to access the seller’s link. That will take you to the seller’s Amazon page. You can see whether it is a longtime third-party seller, along with the number of positive reviews. You can also judge the consistency of the seller’s offerings.
Scammers advertise vaccination offers
In the first place, any medical breakthrough on prevention or cure for the Coronavirus will undoubtedly be big news. An emailed ad for a vaccination will certainly not be the first place to learn about it. However, scammers take their chances by sending out millions of offers, which ensures enough positive responses to make them rich. Make sure you are not one of their victims. They can disguise the sender but the return email path will be a giveaway. A different email address or domain name will indicate a scam.
Look for red flags from scammers
If you visit Big Box retailer website with a domain name like Bigboxretailer-deals.com, will you recognize it as a scam? The hyphenated “deals” were added by scammers to make it seem authentic. This is an example of the “combosquatting” technique for the creation of malicious websites. Additionally, they include added words like “discount” or “sales.” The goal of the scammers is to solicit your personal information. Experts recommend using WHOIS to check the real owner and registration of the domain.
Beware of impersonating emails from scammers
Phishing emails is one of the most frequently used methods of scammers to steal your information. For instance, during the pandemic, they may impersonate insurers or health agencies. It could include U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization, among others. Reasonably inexperienced people have easy access to malware tools, phishing kits and other tools to launch their malicious domains.
Offers via email
Scammers always use high-priority goods linked to whatever crisis is current. Right now, you may receive email offers on face masks and hand sanitizers. They might even warn you about someone with whom you were in contact who tested positive for COVID-19. As a matter of fact, scammers have an endless list of tricks to get you to follow links, open attachments or log into other websites and provide your information.
Precautions against scammers
Scammers word their offers to get you to respond immediately — they do not want you to think about the proposal. For instance, the offers are mostly only valid for a short time. Look for grammatical or spelling errors, and don’t hesitate to ask others’ advice before you respond. Emails may ask you to donate or help raise funds for an organization. Your best bet is to listen to what they have to say. Make sure you get the name of the company or organization they claim to represent. After that, call the company directly to check legitimacy — also, don’t ask the caller for the pone number. They will be wise enough to give you a phone number that leads back to them.
The lesson to learn
If anything sounds too good to be true, it probably is.