Beware Coronavirus Cybersecurity Scams - How to Protect YourselfSubmitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on April 3rd, 2020
From Reby Advisors, April 3, 2020Times of crisis often bring out the best in America. The national solidarity prevalent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and acts of charity over the past few weeks are clear examples. Unfortunately, the criminal element of society often view crisis situations as opportunities to take advantage of people's fears and confusion. Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic coincides with a rise in cyber crime.
A Dramatic Increase in Cyber Scams
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of complaints of cybersecurity scams grew to more than 7,800 the week of March 23rd. This is double the number of complaints from the previous week.
The Washington Post reports, "The number of emails that used phony information about the virus to trick people into infecting their phones and computers has increased by 14,000 percent in just two weeks, according to a report from IBM’s X-Force research division."
In addition, Over 100,000 new website addresses have been recently been registered with keywords including covid, corona, and virus. These potentially fraudulent websites may be used to sell fake cures or protective equipment.
The IRS Warns of Stimulus Check-Related Scams
Cyber criminals and telemarketing scammers have already started using The CARES Act as a ploy to obtain your financial information. Remember, the IRS will not call you to confirm your financial information in order to send your stimulus check. Nor will they send you a surprise email.
If you get a call or an email supposedly from the IRS, it's probably not real. Don't click on anything, and do not share private financial information over the phone.
For credible information about stimulus checks or other government benefits, go directly to IRS.gov or other government websites. Please also feel free to use Reby Advisors as a resource.
Steps to Protect Yourself
Use our cybersecurity resources page to learn more about the various tactics cyber criminals use, how to protect yourself, and how to respond to a data breach. Go to www.rebyadvisors.com/cybersecurity and feel free to share our videos and PDFs with anyone you know.
Moreover, here are the guidelines from The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency:
"CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
- Review CISA Insights on Risk Management for COVID-19 for more information."
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Reby Advisors.