Proceed with Caution. COVID-19 Fraud is Here and On the Rise.

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre‘s (CACF) list of COVID-19 related scams grows  as the global health crisis continues.

The cybercriminals are very aware that more people are working from home, AND that the I.T. security will be weaker than usual. In the rush to get people working remotely, their home I.T. systems may not have the same defences, ex) firewalls and anomaly detection monitoring, that a business environment may have in place.

These criminals prey on the anxiety we’re all experiencing during this stressful time. Some scams pose as offers of relief. Other scams add more stress. Both con methods have been successful in getting people to divulge private information and/or pay money. Proceed with caution if you receive unexpected emails, texts, instant messages, and phone calls.

Here is the CAFC’s list of scams that have been detected so far:

  • Offers of duct cleaning services or filters to protect from COVID-19 offering “special” air filters.
  • Threats of power or water disconnection from due to non-payment from local and provincial hydro/electrical power companies.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the World Health Organization (WHO) offering fake lists for sale of COVID-19 infected people in your neighbourhood.
  • False results saying you have been tested positive for COVID-19 from the Public Health Agency of Canada trying to trick you into confirming your health card and credit card numbers for a prescription.
  • Red Cross and other known charities offering free medical products (e.g. masks) for a donation.
  • Government departments sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails tricking you into opening malicious attachments tricking you to reveal sensitive personal and financial details.
  • Financial advisers pressuring people to invest in hot new stocks related to the disease offering financial aid and/or loans to help you get through the shutdowns.
  • Door-to-door salespeople offering household decontamination services.
  • Private companies selling fake COVID-19 tests.

For other fraud variations that may come our way during the health crisis, please read our blog article: Coronavirus Email Scams Targeting Businesses and Individuals.

It is expected that the criminals will continue to use this crisis to push hard for access to your private information and their attempts to infiltrate your environment will grow in variation and sophistication. It is critical that employees are active participants in stopping these attacks. PC Corp’s Security Awareness Training arms your team with defensive knowledge to protect your business’ data and confidential information. Ensure they are using this knowledge when they are working from home.

The simplest advice to preventing cyberattacks is don’t click links unless you absolutely know where it’s taking you and who sent it.

You can download our ‘How to Recognize a Suspicious Email’ resource HERE. Please feel free to share it with your colleagues, friends and family to help protect their data and privacy.

If you have any questions about security awareness training, the security of your I.T. systems, transitioning to work from home, collaboration applications, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have recommendations and solutions that can help you get through this stressful time.

Be well. Be safe. | TF 1.888.257.8528 | Edmonton 780.428.3000 | Calgary 403.266.3000

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