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Warning over Coronavirus Scams

It seems you just can’t keep a good scammer down.  Scammers and fraudsters are already hard at work taking advantage of the global pandemic – as more and more people seek out information on the coronavirus via the internet and social media.  A number of scams are currently in circulation on social media platforms and messaging apps. 

According to an article on RTE News Website ‘An Garda Síochána has warned that these scams may be carried out either online or in person and could include phishing, social engineering scams or fraudulent selling.

So what should I look out for now?

A fake Covid19 Map is currently being shared on social media and messaging apps.  According to Business Insider ‘Cybersecurity researchers have identified several fake COVID-19 tracker maps that infect people’s computers with malware when opened. These malicious sites look like genuine COVID-19 maps such as those created by Johns Hopkins University or The New York Times’. 

How do I protect myself from Coronavirus Scams?

The advice is simple.  Stick to trusted online information providers and trusted COVID-19 tracking maps. Always double check the URL of the linked website before clicking.  These scam maps start off with links which are circulated on popular social media platforms, messaging apps and misleading emails.

When people open the message and click on the link within, they are redirected to an applet or website that can steal data such as login information and other sensitive or personal data.   According to an article on Reason Security Blog ‘There is also a variant of the AZORult that creates a new, hidden administrator account on the infected machine in order to allow Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections’.

In layman’s terms – Don’t open these messages if in any doubt. And don’t click on the links.

Remember as the Coronavirus spreads we will very likely see an increase in related scams and malicious malware. So please be careful with what you share and if in any doubt don’t click on links.

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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