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Scam of the Week: Exploiting COVID-19

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Cybercriminals rely on trickery and emotional reactions to bypass your security.  A recent phishing email is a great example of how the bad guys try to catch you off guard. It has a generic subject line such as “COVID-19 Notification” and includes many grammatical errors.

The message claims “The pandemic has become a global issue and we’ll be deactivating your email for server propagation”.

Propagation usually refers to making a change to a web domain, like changing the name of a website or moving it to a different server. You may be wondering how those two subjects are related, but the sender doesn’t clarify.

Instead, they direct you to “confirm non-removal of your email” by clicking the link provided. The link in this email leads to a phony login page that collects your username and password and delivers it to the bad guys. Don’t fall for it!

Here’s how to stay sharp:

• Remember to think before you click. This email is both confusing and urgent, which could lead to impulsive clicks.

• Be wary of emails with spelling or grammatical errors, especially when it supposedly came from a reputable source.

• Never click on a link or an attachment that you weren’t expecting. Even if it appears to be from someone in your own organization, the sender’s email address could be spoofed.