The COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in a surge of phishing, cyber-attacks, telephone, and other scams. Please exercise caution in opening any COVID-19 or pandemic related emails from known and unknown origins. Remain vigilant and continue to comply with cyber-security best practices. Don't give out any private or secure information over the phone. Don't cash checks that you aren't sure are 100% valid.
Recent examples of malicious activity include spoof emails and phone calls from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and other reputable authorities. These spoofs generally offer information and updates about the unfolding crisis, leveraging the trust in those authorities to trick users into clicking links and attachments to malicious content, providing their personal or private information, or sending money to fraudulent companies. For example, a fake Johns Hopkins COVID-19 map is currently circulating that contains a trojan when clicked. There's also a fraudulent stimulus check now showing up in mailboxes. We also see a rather predictable rise in spam/scam emails trading on fear and confusion to push the usual variety of questionable products and services – fake vaccines, price-gouged health care products (masks, sanitizers), as well as books, videos, and bogus "miracle cures."
Malicious actors are also experimenting with new social engineering schemes. Please do not provide passwords, credentials, personal identifying information or credit card numbers to anyone via email.
Finally, taking advantage of the uncertainty, many older phishing campaigns are being launched again with subtle changes. Toilet paper availability is an example of a current attempt.
Please also be alert for these types of scams. If an email, phone call, or text seems suspicious, it probably is. Being vigilant to these potential crimes will protect us all from individuals who are seeking to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to inflict additional harm.
If you receive an email, text, or phone call that you believe is malicious or suspicious, please do not open it, click on any links, or provide anyone with any personal information and be sure to report it to police department at 573-431-3122, email@example.com, or by sending a message to their Facebook Page.
We want nothing but safety for each and every one of you... health safety, and personal & financial safety.