As the public’s demand for information about the pandemic remains high, criminals are seeking to take advantage. Be aware of the latest activities, and make sure you are implementing additional precautions to stay protected. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink. Be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
Here are some specific precautions that the CISA is encouraging individuals to implement:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has offered these suggestions for avoiding coronavirus scams:
- Don’t respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. The details are still coming together.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. There are no products proven to treat or prevent COVID-19 at this time.
- Hang up on robocalls. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from low-priced health insurance to work-at-home schemes.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the CDC or WHO. Use sites like coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to get the latest information. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations. Never donate in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money.
It’s important that you stay vigilant during these uncertain times. Don’t click on unknown links, and avoid visiting new websites that could be operated by criminals. We take cyber security very seriously at BCS Wealth Management and have a full-time IT department working behind the scenes to keep us up-to-date on the latest threats and protection.
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during these uncertain times. We look forward to seeing you soon.