cybersecurityScammers are having a field day during the COVID-19 era. The pandemic era has created a lot of opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit financial strain, stress, and fear of people.

There’s no approved treatment and vaccine yet for COVID-19, but scammers have already managed to sell unauthorized test and cure for the disease. They have even offered fake jobs, which people have to pay in order to get. They have also altered their swindles in order to match the scarcity in essential goods and an increase in online shopping. Some hackers even pretended to be the IRS and created fake companies just so they could claim government stimulus money. These scammers have sought out all possible avenues to take advantage of the desperation of people during this economic and public health crisis.

 

 

The strategies used by scammers have evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Trade Commission got over 113,000 fraud reports that are related to stimulus or COVID-19, supposedly more than $150 million worth of financial losses. Based on the complaints made to the FTC, the most common source of the COVID-19 related fraud is online shopping. The other sources are travel or vacations, health care, mobile text messages, internet information services, telemarketing practices, and government imposters.

When it comes to the number of overall fraud complaint, pandemic related fraud accounts for 10% of the overall reports through the first six months of the year. This goes to show how quickly cybercriminals can change their methods just so they could take advantage of a certain situation.

Scam phone calls declined and there were more online scams after COVID-19 hit. Phone calls generally account for about 75% of all fraudulent attempts. But during the second quarter of this year, the number dropped to 48%. Meanwhile, email attempts saw an increase to 8% in 2019 to 23% in 2020. Furthermore, scams through website increased from 9% last year to 17% this year.

Managed IT services experts say that con artists targeted unemployed workers by posting fake job ads. Their primary objective is to get unsuspecting applicants to pay for supplies, equipment, and training. Text messages have become prevalent as well. One example is a fraudulent text claiming to be from Netflix and offering the recipient of the message five months of free service.

Avoiding Common COVID-19 Scams

  1. Don’t fall for any product claiming to be the cure for COVID-19.
  2. Before purchasing from an unfamiliar online shop, check the company first by doing a quick search online using its name and the words complaint or scam.
  3. Filter out robocalls by screening the calls you receive.
  4. Scammers may also pretend that they’re contact tracers. A real contact tracer will ask for your health information but fake ones only want to get our financial information.
  5. You should also be careful of people who call you claiming that they are from IRS. Legitimate IRS employees will not call you regarding stimulus money.
  6. If you have been a victim of a scam, do not be afraid or ashamed to report it.

Call SpartanTec, Inc. now and let our IT team help your company keep these scammers at bay while keeping your business safe from various online threats.

SpartanTec, Inc.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
(843) 420-9760
https://www.spartantec.com/

SpartanTec, Inc.
Wilmington, NC 28412
(910) 218-9255
http://manageditserviceswilmington.com

Serving: Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Columbia, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Florence