It is incomprehensible to think that scammers are taking advantage and attempting to exploit vulnerable Australians with COVID-19 Scams.
Unfortunately, we have seen an increasing number of COVID-19 scams. As a result, attackers are falsely selling coronavirus related products online and luring customers to provide personal data by using a fake email or text message.
Additionally, other scams reported include phishing emails and phone calls impersonating the World Health Organisation, government authorities, and legitimate businesses – including travel agents and telecommunications companies.
Below is an example of an email scam, falsely claiming to be from the government:
Types of COVID-19 Scams:
Following is a detailed list of the types of COVID-19 scams currently reported:
- phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities. These include the World Health Organisation, government authorities, people confirmed to have the coronavirus, and legitimate businesses such as travel agents and telecommunications companies
- people receiving misinformation about the coronavirus, being sent by text, social media and email
- products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for the coronavirus
- investment scams claiming coronavirus has created opportunities.
It is essential to understand how we can protect ourselves from a COVID-19 Scam. Following is a detailed list from Scamwatch outlining important measures to minimise risk:
- Be aware of fraudulent emails claiming to be from experts saying that they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Be careful of fake online shopping sites requesting unusual payment methods. For example, upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, preloaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin. Information is available at:
Online shopping scams.
- The best way to detect a fake trader or social media online shopping scam is to search for reviews before purchasing. No vaccine or cure presently exists for the coronavirus.
- Don’t let anyone pressure you to make quick decisions. Take your time and consider who you are dealing with.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Don’t open attachments or click on links in emails, text messages or social media messages you’ve received from strangers — just press delete.
- Never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for personal or financial details — just press delete or hang up.
- Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
- If you are planning to donate, do your research. As such, when donating to crowdfunding requests, check the terms and conditions of funding platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations.
- If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered and that you are on its official website by searching the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.
What to do if you are suspicious and suspect a Covid-19 Scam?
If you do become suspicious about an email, contact Techstream Solutions urgently to speak with our Technical Support team. We will guide you through the necessary security measures required to ensure your system is safe to operate.
Furthermore, if you believe you have been scammed via an online purchase, immediately make a report on the Scamwatch website.
IT Security Sydney
Techstream Solutions are Sydney IT consultants located in the business district of Frenchs Forest on the Northern Beaches. We are proud of our reputation for providing a bespoke IT support service to our clients. With a dedicated computer support help desk and easy ticket management system, our highly experience consultants and engineers are readily available to provide effective ITC support assistance. After all, we understand that downtime can be stressful and frustrating. Enjoy maximum efficiency within your workplace technology environment. We will resolve IT issues swiftly. Furthermore, our Technical Engineers can attend to all your business computer support requirements including managed IT, cloud services, backup and recovery, and cryptolocker decryption security. Our IT consultants can manage every aspect of your ITC infrastructure projects and upgrades.