FTC Warns To Be Wary Of Scams Making Use Of COVID-19 Crisis To Get Personal Info
By Thanussha Priyah, 21 May 2020
Image via Shutterstock.com
The Federal Trade Commission has released a report to warn people about how scammers have been exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to get account information from unsuspecting victims.
The report detailed how scammers are posing as COVID-19 contact tracers to steal personal information from people.
Normally, health authorities would be able to get the information of patients through contact tracing measures. They would then contact the person through a call or text to inform them that they might pose a risk of being exposed to the virus.
Scammers are now disguising as contact tracers by sending fake texts to people with a link containing a virus. Once the URL is clicked upon, the virus will expose your personal and banking information to cyber attackers.
“The tracer who calls will not ask for personal information, like a Social Security number,” the FTC cautioned in the report. “At the end of the call, some states ask if the contact would like to enroll in a text message program, which sends daily health and safety reminders until the 14-day quarantine ends,” it continued.
The FTC urged people to filter these messages through their phones’ features, and block messages from unknown senders or those with spam risks.
It is also crucial to utilize a multi-step authentication feature to access your personal and banking accounts to keep scammers at bay. To avoid losing information due to malware or ransomware, people should also back up their phones regularly as a preventive measure.
It's important to watch out for scams during COVID-19.— FEMA (@fema) May 20, 2020
🔺 Contact tracers do not need your personal information.
🔺 A real contact tracer will only ask for the names & phone numbers of people you've been in contact with while infected.
Learn more @FTC: https://t.co/EmB1cdog9c https://t.co/gDIvSLaqrV
[via Complex, cover image via Shutterstock.com]
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