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Don’t take the bait: UTHealth experts share tips to avoid COVID-19 related phishing scams

Image of a person holding a cell phone that has an emergency alert on its screen.
(Photo by Getty Images)

Remain vigilant for phishing and scams related to COVID-19. Cyber criminals may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes on legitimate-looking websites. Exercise caution for any email with a COVID-19 related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

  • Cyber attackers continue to imitate emails in an attempt to mask the true origin of the email with an "urgent" request to prompt users to reply.
  • Be on heightened alert when it comes to unexpected emails.
  • Recognize that scammers, hackers, and criminals will attempt to use the COVID-19 outbreak to their benefit. Cyber attackers are taking advantage of increased communications from national and international health organizations and are impersonating officials on behalf of a health organization. In one scheme the Coronavirus maps produced by Johns Hopkins University are being used in spam emails and malicious websites to spread password-stealing malware.

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