To give you a basic idea about pandemic scams, have you heard about a major robbery scandal in the USA? These days, protection costs a bit extra, but where do we draw a line? Coronavirus scams have cost Americans $39 million since the outbreak. Did you just raise your eyebrows? Good. Here’s how to avoid coronavirus scams. Read!
As the coronavirus continues to spread literally everywhere, criminals have also stepped up their game. The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a warning to people, telling them to beware of those looking to use the pandemic to steal information and money.
Examples of suspicious behaviour include:
- Asking for login information
- Sending unsolicited email attachments
- Directing people to a website other than https://www.who.int/
- Asking for direct donations to emergency response plans or funding appeals
WHO have stated “we never do any of these things!”.
Also Read: When Will Coronavirus End In Pakistan
The organization warns that scams can come in the form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages, and fax messages.
Malicious emails sent by scammers are known as “phishing” emails. They appear to come from the WHO, and ask for sensitive information, such as:
- Prompting access to usernames and passwords
- Asking users to click on suspicious links
- Opening malicious attachments
Following these instructions allows criminals to install software that can give them access to, or damage, computers.
Educate Yourself On What’s Wrong | How To Avoid Coronavirus Scams
It is important for consumers to stay updated on some of the latest ways scammers intend to swindle them with.
If you’re looking for consumer alerts, keep checking your phone, or go ahead and read this.
Almost all mobile service providers in Pakistan have free software or applications that block robocalls. For instance, JAZZ have an integrated software that automatically blocks some of the worst robocalls throughout their network. Other networks have separate options that consumers can install and use upon personal discretion.
It’s worth reaching out to your service provider to see what they offer. A customer-service representative walks customer through signing up, or adding robocall-blocking software, or an app to their phone. Some service providers even offer free trials, so customers can test robo-blocking apps with all the extra bells and whistles. For example:
- Blocking spam text messages
- Automatically silencing unknown callers
Play “Hard To Get” | Don’t Respond | How To Avoid Coronavirus Scams
Illegal robocalls are being used to pitch consumers everything from low-priced health insurance to Covid-19 “cures” to work-from-home schemes.
If it’s an important robocall, say from a pharmacy or doctor’s office, they’ll usually leave a message or contact you another way, such as through email or an app.
- If you do receive an email or text message that you feel you do need to respond to, don’t click on the link provided.
- Instead, go directly to the government or company website by typing its name in your browser.
- Contact it through an official phone number or email address.
- Links in emails or text messages are a particularly common way for fraudsters to gain access or lure you into a scam.
- Hackers send what’s called a phishing email, in which they mimic the look or feel of communications sent by companies or the government, and include a link to a false portal asking for your information.
In such a scenario, here’s a simple piece of advice: DO NOT RESPOND. DO NOT CLICK ON SUSPICIOUS LINKS.
Filter out unsolicited email by changing some of your personal email preferences.
Speaking Up | Counter Your Suspicions
If you’re afraid that something is a scam, talk to a friend or relative about what happened. Bouncing the interaction off of somebody else may help raise a flag. It’s just how an old adage says: if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
At the end of the day, it’s a game of confidence. If you hold your ground, the bad guys aren’t going to get anything from you.
Hiding behind a false image is the new trend for criminals to get money out of people. Whether it’s a pandemic or a new era of normalcy, one should follow the above instructions and stand strong in the face of any wrongdoing.
As of yet, there is no cure for coronavirus. If you come across someone selling you fake medicine for a disease that apparently has no cure, play dumb. Don’t play into traps that might put you at some disadvantage.
Believe in your true-self and avoid scammers by following what we’ve written here. This was all about how to avoid coronavirus scams. If you have any questions, please drop a comment in the section provided below.