UPDATE on the LATEST Coronavirus Phishing Scams
As COVID-19 spreads globally, cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the situation. They are creating coronavirus-related phishing scams in an attempt to steal your personal information, or to spread malicious software onto your devices. The ITS team at Binghamton has released a few blogs keeping updated information on these phishing scams. To read the past blog posts, click here.
The most recent round of phishing scams includes hoaxes that resemble job offerings, pose as officials in charge of the stimulus checks, and even replicate official university emails. Some of these can look incredibly real at first glance, so it’s very important to be cautious as you go through your emails.
These reminders are very important to remember when confronted with a possible phishing scam:
When on the phone:
Never trust a caller ID
Understand the government agencies will not call you for valid information - check their websites
When in doubt, ask for the caller’s name and name of where they are calling from/ who they represent.. best to hang up and check their website for a legitimate number to call to double check and get any necessary info you may need.
Just like on the phone, no government agency will pay you a visit at home. Do NOT let them into your home.
Ask for their ID and their supervisor’s name to confirm the visit.
Never call a number given to you - check online first.
Never give out any personal info. regardless.
Never give out any personal information to anyone until you do your own research and know that if you have any questions about a suspicious email, text or whatever, report to email@example.com. You can also contact the Help Desk with any questions. Binghamton University will never ask you for any important personal information via online or on the phone.
The job-offering emails are often sent by someone who claims to be elderly and negatively affected by the virus. They are searching for someone to help them with simple tasks such as picking up their mail, getting groceries, etc. Often they claim to be willing to pay you an extreme amount of money for the work they are asking you to do. Be on the lookout, as this scam has been coming from several different email addresses.
CORONAVIRUS RELATED VIDEO?
Another recent phishing scam is spreading a video claiming to show what “people are watching during the coronavirus outbreak.” CURIOUS? That’s what the hacker is trying to do to lure you in...Do not click on the link in this email; it is a phishing scam and will release malicious malware onto your advice.
We mentioned this scam in our previous blog post, however, it’s worth reminding you about. Especially in the time of online classes, students are most likely flooded with emails from their schools and professors everyday. Students should be careful when checking their university emails; many of these emails claim to have updates on closures and other coronavirus-related news. READ ALL EMAILS carefully: look for jarring spelling and grammatical errors, and remember to hover over links before you click them! By now, this should be common practice for you.
Another scam you should be aware about comes in the form of an Android app, claiming to provide access to a map that provides real-time virus-tracking and information, including heatmap visuals and statistics. For more information about the app, and how to protect yourself from ransomware, click here.
Luckily, like many other phishing scams, these emails contain many grammatical errors that are easy to catch. It’s always very important to be conscious and careful each time you receive an unexpected email. Remember, these scammers are trying to induce a sense of panic. Although it may seem urgent, it will only benefit you to wait until you have more information; make sure you do your research before providing any personal information. Take a minute to consider if what they are asking for is really reasonable. As with all other phishing scams, if there are any attachments such as Word Documents, PDFs, MP4s, or links, THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK. WHEN IN DOUBT - report and forward to firstname.lastname@example.org and then THROW IT OUT!
For more information on COVID-related phishing scams, you can visit: https://www.cdc.gov/media/phishing.html
You can visit the University’s website for additional information on the actual virus at https://www.binghamton.edu/health/coronavirus/. The University will continue to share information via this website and "Dateline" on a regular basis.
Stay up to date on the latest phishing scams by regularly reviewing the ITS Phishing page and Phish Tank: https://binghamton.edu/its/phishing
Received a phishy email? Report it to email@example.com.