Tips Beware of COVID-19 Phone, Email, and Texting Scams
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scammers have seized the opportunity to prey on consumers – through phone, email, and texting scams. Fraudsters are capitalizing on virus-related health and financial fears, so beware!
Phone calls and voice mail messages, some appearing to originate from the CDC, are being reported. Some calls are requesting donations. To protect yourself, be wary of answering phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize. Don’t give out any personal information, including banking information, Social Security number, or other personally-identifiable information over the phone to individuals you don’t know. Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money. Although we are not aware of any scams impersonating SKT, if you receive a call from SKT and are unsure if the call is genuine, call us back at 888.758.8976. While you can make payments by phone, SKT will never call you asking for credit card information over the phone.
Numerous email scams regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are being reported, including some that are impersonating the World Health Organization. It’s more important than ever to be very cautious of opening attachments and clicking links from email senders you are not familiar with, or that look suspicious. Common mistakes, misspellings, and misplaced characters are often red flags for malicious emails. Delete them if you have any doubt of their authenticity – especially during this time. Read SKT’s tips on how to spot a phishing email.
In addition, scam and hoax text messages are being sent – some even appearing to be from the CDC, saying the recipient has been exposed to COVID-19 and directing them to call a number provided in the text. This is a scam. Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious. Don’t open any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
- Malwarebytes Cybersecurity: Examples of recent email scams
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: COVID-19-related phone scams and phishing attacks
- Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS CISA)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) COVID-19 scams
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
Protect yourself from cyber criminals with the knowledge that there are phone, email, and text-messaging scams out there, and do your own research for COVID-19 updates and answers at the official websites of the World Health Organization and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).