The majority of us around the world may be staying home due to social distancing initiatives, but that hasn’t stopped cybercriminals from working.
In fact, Google reported a couple of weeks ago that there are plenty of people trying to profit from the fear and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Google shared that they had found over 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19, which form part of more than 240 million COVID-19 related daily spam messages.
The scams come at people from many different angles, too. Some of the communications claim to be from WHO officials, while some claim to be from local government authorities. Additionally, emails designed to prey on those who are facing financial difficulties are on the rise.
For example, I recently received an email in my inbox claiming to be from the Canadian tax authorities. It offered me a tax refund of $520 CAD, and that may have been enticing enough to click. Fortunately for me, I have never lived or worked in Canada so I was able to flag it as spam right away.
If I had clicked on the links that the email provided, as I am sure some people unfortunately did, I would have opened myself up to a phishing attack and had my credit card details stolen.
However, there are many others who may fall for such scams either out of a lack of education, or a sense of desperation. We've got to collectively look out for each other, and continue to spread the message of safe internet usage for all.