Don’t be a victim of these 10 coronavirus online scams

Internet fraudsters like in many other businesses will love to seek the vulnerability of humans in desperate times to accumulate wealth. It is no gainsay that internet fraudsters have had to re-strategize their efforts at this time.

Here are ten most common online scams you should expect at this time. They are not new, but their approach and content will surely be.

Blood and saliva from ‘COVID survivors’

If you’re desperate for immunity and are searching around the Dark Web, you might find blood and saliva samples from a “coronavirus survivor” and wonder at its possibilities. Could it be true, that these bodily fluids for sale in an online marketplace will bolster your body against COVID?

It’s a hoax. You’ll never see the blood and even if it was true, other people’s blood may be tainted with diseases, such as Hepatitis and HIV. Talk to your doctor instead.

Expedited stimulus checks

Most people can expect a small boost from the government. Although the stimulus bill was slow to pass and even slower to make its way to your bank account, the best thing you can do is budget and wait. You may receive authentic-sounding email offers and phone calls to expedite payment. Be warn!

Fake coronavirus miracle cures

Quacks have been hawking fake cures since the dawn of time, and nobody wants to fall for the old snake oil trick. Still, it may be tempting to believe that big pharma is suppressing a vaccine or that secret herbal pills can lessen COVID-19’s effects. Unless the advice comes from a health care professional or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention itself, ignore it.

Tech support scams

You’re bound to run into tech problems working from home. Since you probably don’t want experts inside your home to fix the problem, you may be at the mercy of online or telephone tech support. Do not Google search a company’s tech support line. Scammers are hoping you’ll do just that and fall into their trap.

Sextortion scams

With so many people communicating through Zoom and other video chats, we are now relying on our webcams more than ever. Be mindful of any webcam you own, and consider covering it up when it’s not in use. A piece of black electrical tape works well.

You might get an email with a subject line that contains your password. When you open the email, a threatening message claiming to be from a hacker says that your webcam has been compromised and that they’ve caught you in a moment of intimacy. Now, it’s time to pay up in Bitcoin, or else the hacker will expose you publicly.

That password is one compromised in a data breach. Don’t pay the hacker. Delete the email and if you’re still using the same password at different sites, change it now.

Government-issued online coronavirus tests

Coronavirus tests are in short supply, and many people are eager to find one. That said, if you find a vendor selling “coronavirus tests” online, this is almost certainly a scam. You should always consult a physician before taking the test and follow the instructions closely.

No-risk investment

If you’re following the news, you know how unpredictable the economy is at this moment. While the stock market is bucking, investment fraud is rampant, seducing eager money-makers with “guaranteed returns” and other optimistic wording. Scammers strive for realistic scenarios, like raising money for a company that makes medical masks.

Fake bosses and co-workers

From a hacker’s perspective, the working-from-home economy is the perfect chance to break into a network, take over an email account, and send real-sounding messages to employees. Strange messages are harder to verify when workers are geographically spread out and everyone is worried about layoffs. Hackers may also impersonate your company’s help desk, requesting passwords for “verification.” Even if a request sounds legitimate, confirm details by phone.

As the technology behind deep fake video becomes more accessible to regular people, the potential for disturbing real-life consequences grows exponentially. Get acquainted with it now because it’s going to be a major issue going forward.

Phony small business loan sites

Small business owners are struggling and scammers know how to navigate through this. The only place you should apply for government assistance for your small business going through the verified government or financial institutions.

Donation scams

Perhaps the most insidious plot right now is the donation scam. Fake charities abound in times of crisis and the pandemic is no different. Crowdsourcing platforms are lifesaving when they’re hosted by actual charities, but they can dupe a lot of well-meaning people into handing their money to criminals.

Before you donate any money, check the charity’s rating.