As Covid-19 vaccines increase, so do Covid-19 scams
In the year since Forbes first covered with scams tackling fears of the Covid-19 coronavirus, this area of cybercrime has simply exploded. Fake websites have become phishing emails and phishing text messages. Now we have fake pollsters, fake messages from your human resources department, fake medicine, and fake vaccine appointments. Scammers are using worry about the pandemic to steal identities and money.
Corporate HR departments are attacked because they are a source of employee information, but also because they are a source of material, such as company headers, for their attacks to appear. legitimate. But the same goes for local and regional health services, as scammers search for the names of people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Over the past year, phishing attacks have become more sophisticated. Some will likely appear to be from an executive at your employer, this will be on company letterhead with a signature that looks real asking you to click on a link to register for a vaccination day sponsored by the company. business. Others may appear to be from your local health department, allowing you to make an appointment for a vaccine.
Perhaps the most effective, and the one that raises red flags, is a flurry of survey emails and text messages. These surveys will supposedly follow your post-vaccine recovery period and offer help with any side effects. What they do instead is collect your mobile phone number as well as personal information which will then be used to send SMS and phishing emails. During this time, your personal information will be sold to other cyber criminals to be used in other attacks.
Because many attacks target the elderly, who, due to their higher risk of contracting the disease, may be easier targets, The AARP also issued a warning.
The FBI is also focusing on Covid-19 scams and a issued a warning things that indicate a Covid-19 scam:
· You are asked to pay out of pocket for the vaccine.
You are asked to pay to put your name on a vaccine waiting list or to get early access
Ads for vaccines on social media platforms, email, phone, online or from unsolicited / unknown sources
Traders offering to sell or ship doses of the vaccine for payment
In addition to vaccine-related scams, there are relief payment scams from a wide variety of bogus government agencies. the FTC lists a variety fraudulent calls, texts and emails from the Social Security Administration, IRS, and FDIC, among others. Calls usually indicate that you’ve approved a stimulus payment and need to pay a fee to get the money sent to your bank.
Small businesses attacked
Scammers also target small businesses, claiming to be able to provide small business loans such as SBA Economic Disaster Relief Loans or Payroll Protection Program loans. They will ask you for your bank account information so that the money can be deposited directly. You will be asked to pay their fees with gift cards, bank transfers, or sometimes cryptocurrencies. They may even ask you to send cash.
Some things you need to remember. First, you never have to pay a fee for stimulus payments or small business financing. Second, the government will never ask you to pay for anything with a gift card. Third, the government will never “remove” or “deactivate” your social security number.
Also, while some agencies may need relevant information for legitimate purposes, very little is needed for a vaccine. And the information needed for personal stimulus payments is already in the hands of the IRS. If you sign up for a vaccine, do so by going to your regional or local health department’s website, or by calling them. Do not respond to emails or phone calls asking for personal information. And remember, the Covid-19 vaccine is free. While there may be a small administration fee in some cases, your insurance covers this. You never have to pay to register for the vaccine.