Top Internet Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

Top Internet Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has made many people start working from home for the first time. The first concern that comes to their minds is productivity and keeping away from family distractions. However, security against internet scams can be an even more important concern.

Working from home may mean you will be using your own PC. It will surely hold data related to your work. Protecting this data isn't an easy task. Many people don't learn about that until they get their data lost or encrypted. 

Internet scammers try to scam you in many ways whether to steal your money or encrypt your work files and ask for ransom. They are surely aware now that more people are working from home and having important work files on their PCs.

While you surely need to install an antivirus on your PC as soon as possible, you also need to protect yourself from scams that can trick you even when you have an antivirus or anti malware. 

The FBI estimates the amount of money lost in internet scams to be $3.5 billion dollar in 2019. Only $300 million were possible to return for a total of 467,000 complaints filed. Your country probably experiences many scams too. So, always be careful.

Internet Scams During COVID-19 Pandemic

Top Internet Scams During Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus emails

Some scammers are already taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation directly with scam emails that are pretending to sell cures for the new virus or even selling toilet paper. The emails are surely made to look like being sent from trusted sources. 

How to avoid this scam

Ignoring these scams can be the best thing to do. Like other internet scams, if you just ignore them, nothing can happen to your data and money. Of course, you need to be really cautious about which websites you give your payment details to. 

Always follow trusted sources for updates about medications for the new pandemic. Never get tricked by fake news claiming the discovery of new cures and double-check the source.

Job offer scams 

Lost your job during the coronavirus pandemic? Were you already searching for a job and the current situation just made it harder for you? In any case, be careful not to get scammed with fake job offers. Many scammers are trying to take advantage of the current unemployment.

Job scams claim offering you a job whether in your specialization or not. Later, you are asked to pay money to "secure the offer". It is clear that no real employer would ask you for a payment to hire you.

How to avoid this scam

Follow trusted websites and sources for job offers. If you receive a job offer through email and you really don't know if it is fake or not, go to employer website and find their contact details and email them to get a confirmation.

There are many tricks to make the email look like it is coming from a real domain. So, doing your own research for every job offer you receive is essential to avoid being scammed. In any way, if you are asked to pay money, leave and never reveal your payment information. 

Charity scams 

Charity scams

You may already know that some people have no honor, and those online scammers can reach the level of scamming you with charity frauds. Unlike other scams that take advantage of your need for money, these scams take advantage of your will to give money. 

Fake donation sites are used with heartbreaking stories to convince people to pay directly for a charity cause. You can find this anywhere whether through email or an ad. 

How to avoid this scam

In the current coronavirus situation, many people may want to give money to help others, which is great. But you also need to make sure your money is reaching those who need it.

If you want to give money to a charity, make sure the organization you are donating to is a legitimate one. Alternatively, find one of the well known and trusted organisations to donate to. 

Security warning scams 

Scammers know that you want to protect yourself from them, and they make this one of their tricks. You receive a message somewhere that asks you to download a software to protect your PC or smartphone. 

Once you install the software, hackers can do whatever they want. They can steal your files or encrypt them and ask for ransom to decrypt them. They can also steal your passwords or credit card information and do other bad things. 

How to avoid this scam 

You simply want to avoid downloading any software that is not from a trusted source. These scams can even appear when you are searching for antivirus on Google or searching for another software. 

The best practice is to download one of the trusted antivirus software directly from official websites to avoid being tricked.

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Dating scams

Dating scams

Working from home may make you feel lonely, but that doesn't mean allowing yourself to get scammed with a foolish dating offer. According to an FBI report, dating scams are the most expensive internet scams in the United States. The average amount of money lost by the victim surpassed $100,000. 

How this happens is already known to many. You get to know someone online and after a while they ask for an amount of money for something urgent or to book a ticket to come visit you. 

How to avoid this scam

Actually this scam can be avoided by keeping in mind that things can go this way. Don't trust strangers online too quickly. If you get to know someone online, it is better to know more about their identity soon and not just talk to an unknown.

Lottery scams 

If you have many bills that you can't pay and think a lottery can be your only way to get out of the situation, then you should know first that lottery scams are among the most common on the internet. 

You wake up and find an email saying you won a lottery you probably know nothing about. You probably know it is a scam but hope starts to make you act foolishly. Whether you are asked to pay money or not, stay away from these types of scams for your own good. 

How to avoid this scam

Never provide your payment information to a website that you don't trust and find to be legitimate. 

Scammers can ask you to enter your payment information to receive the lottery prize you have won. They will only steal your credit card information to leave you more desperate than before. 

Bottom line

Importance of antivirus software

There are many scams on the internet and hackers keep updating themselves to trick new people. Unfortunately, more people are tricked every year and lose money and important files.

So if you want to protect yourself, always stick with trusted sources when downloading anything. Never send money to a shady service or website or give them your payment information. 

Keep yourself updated with information about scams like the ones we mentioned here. This will help you understand how scammers may approach you and what you can do to avoid them. 

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