#Privacy: FBI sees rise in COVID-19 fraud schemes

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has issued a public service announcement warning of fraud schemes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the announcement, the IC3 explains that threat actors are capitalising on the coronavirus pandemic in order to steal money and/or personal information. 

Many of the scams include emails claiming to be from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations offering information about the virus. 

“Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize,” the FBI stressed. 

Recipients should also watch out for phishing emails asking them to provide their personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. 

“While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money.”

Additionally, recipients should be on the lookout for phishing schemes related to charitable contributions, fake testing kits, fake cures and vaccines, airline carrier refunds and general financial relief. 

The announcement also warns of counterfeit treatments or equipment, whereby scammers claim to be selling  products that allegedly prevents, treats, diagnoses, or cures COVID-19. 

“Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves.”

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