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Scam of the Week: Exploiting COVID-19

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.

Jim Sherwood serves as chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects.

Jim got his start in radio at WLSM in the small town of Louisville, MS in 1988. Since then he has worked on-air in all day parts and has held nearly every other station position at one time or another. Jim has worked for radio stations in several states and for iHeartMedia (Clear Channel Radio), CBS Radio, Cumulus Broadcasting and a few small locally-owned stations. He even hosted a morning show on an aircraft carrier for two years while in the Navy. Jim has a passion for radio history, music, gadgets and all kinds of geeky web stuff.

After 14 years at Clear Channel Radio, Jim left the industry in 2013 to devote full-time attention to his company, Mediagin Creative, a small freelance creative agency that develops WordPress websites as well as produces commercials for radio and TV. After being asked by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters to speak to a panel of small market station owners about the need for better websites, it became apparent that an easy to use and low-cost solution was needed to assist smaller markets in competing for online ad dollars. Skyrocket Radio was born.