Evil takes many forms. During emergencies and times of great stress many evil doers will target you in an effort to profit or otherwise take advantage of the situation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning that scammers are trying to trick people into sharing their account credentials through social engineering tactics or by sending email messages with malicious content or attachments. You may be offered information by email concerning the COVID-19 disease or asked to contribute to a charitable concern to assist persons in need. These scams come in the form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages, and even fax messages. Examples of suspicious behavior include asking for login information, sending unasked-for email attachments, directing you to malicious websites, or asking for direct donations to emergency response plans or funding appeals.
To avoid becoming a victim of these scams:
- Prior to opening an email, verify the sender by checking the email address
- If the message looks suspicious, don’t open attachments and delete the message
- Hover over and check the link before you click. Do not click from mobile phones if you cannot check the link
- Be cautious about providing personal information
- Do not rush or feel under pressure to take action
- Identify and only use nationally recognized sites to obtain COVID-19 information
- Navigate to authoritative websites by keying in the URL directly into your web browser
Recommended sites and URLs to use for information concerning the source and spread of the disease:
- World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- CDC: Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education
- The Virginia Department of Health