With most of the American public staying at home or working remotely, now is a more important time than ever to practice staying safe online. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been a large increase in email and telephone scams, with the elderly more at risk for falling for them.
WBHM reported online scammers have begun selling bogus products aimed at preventing the coronavirus, which include face masks and essential oil blends. Gary Warner, head of Digital Forensics at UAB, says “high anxiety around coronavirus has created the perfect panic moment for scammers.” Warner also warns internet users that clicking these links can result in malicious programs downloaded to your device that put your password, money, and personal information at risk.
Guy Lescault, executive director of Legal Services Alabama, warns of robocalling being on the rise as well. Since Lescault is responsible for providing legal assistance to the poor, he has noticed an estimated 30 to 50% increase in fraudulent activity around Covid-19. Lescault also warns of fake “work from home” opportunities that require payment of a fee to apply. Lescault states “Almost all of those are going to be fake. You should never have to pay a fee to apply for a job.”
These fraudulent practices act as a reminder to always check URLs, avoid being click-happy, and continue to browse with caution.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology