The implications of COVID-19 are scary enough without adding the threat of online fraud or identity theft.
However, determined criminals are “phishing” for information by posing as officials of the CDC, as health experts offering cures, and even as your own employer.
The Norton website shares these clues that can help you spot a scam and keep your data safe:
Requests for personal information. Government agencies and legitimate organizations won’t ask for your Social Security number, passwords, or other private details. Don’t turn any of that over.
Untrustworthy links. You can determine where a link is actually going by hovering your mouse over it and looking at the URL. Many times you’ll be able to tell that it’s not a legitimate online destination.
On the other hand, some scammers can create very realistic-looking destination URLs, so be cautious and delete the link in case of any doubt.
Grammatical mistakes. Errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar are telltale clues of a phishing attempt. Again, delete the message immediately.
Generic greetings. “Dear sir or madam,” or “To whom it may concern,” mean that the sender has no idea who you are.
Instant action. Phishing scams will insist that you respond immediately. Don’t panic. Just delete the message right away.