My colleague Rob Hicks from First Choice Computers has compiled a list of how to protect yourself from online scams during the Coronavirus pandemic. Rob gets calls every day about what to do, and therefore his advice is more important the longer this Coronavirus remains part of our lives.
Don’t click on any link and/or download anything sent in an email from someone claiming to be a government site or health official (such as Health Canada, the CDC, the World Health Organization, etc) as its may be a phishing attempt to collect your personal information.
They could be links on how to ‘be prepared’ or a link that shows where infections are in your area etc. It’s most likely a scam trying to either infect your computer with something or to try to steal information from you. If you want to see information directly from those organizations you can always just go to their websites instead without clicking on those email links.
The same is true for anyone claiming they have a cure for the virus or a way to protect against it. (the FTC and FDA in the US sent out warnings to companies making these claims that were selling teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver, which were making fraudulent claims). Be careful about opening any emails that boast any sort of claims like those.
Also be wary of an email claiming to be from your employer, or someone you do business with that claims they have an updated policy due to the recent outbreak and they require you to click on the link to read it. That may be a scam as well. Never enter any personal information when you see links like this.
4 – The Refund or Cheque scam
The refund or cheque scam is back as well, with scammers telling people saying you’ve received money from the government due to the current situation, and that you just have to reply back with your personal information. Do not reply, these scammers just want your personal information (the same is true if you get a text or a call from someone asking for information).
If you believe that you are supposed to receive money, contact your local government office/representative directly and do NOT call a number you receive from a random email or text or voicemail. Search online to find their legitimate contact information.
5 – General purchase validation emails
Also be vigilant about the general scams that are still going around such as if you get a message claiming to be from your bank asking you to confirm your details. Or claiming to be from an online shopping site (or a credit card company) confirming your purchase of a very expensive item, and asking you to click on a link if you didn’t actually make that purchase. Again the scammers just want your personal information and/or your login information (user names and passwords). Often these scams come through text messaging on your cell phone.
Scammers will try to take advantage of people in situations like this, so please be extra careful whenever you get an email/text/phone call that asks you for any sort of personal information (or wants you to click on a link that will install something into your computer or phone).
Rob Hicks says, if you receive something and you aren’t sure if it is legitimate or a scam, you can forward it to him and he can check the message/link for you. This is a great service and the best way on how to protect yourself from online scams during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Rob is also available for remote work, so if you have any computer issues/questions, as long as you have an internet connection, He can help you out remotely without having to actually be there in person. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live! He once helped one of my friends whose computer got hacked while he was travelling in Spain. Rob was able to dial in and fix it remotely. His service is excellent. So make sure you protect yourself from online scams during the coronavirus pandemic. Contact Rob via email at 1stChoiceCS@gmail.com or (1) 289-440-9202 (Call or Text). Click here for a complete list of services from First Choice Computer Solutions or both PC and MAC computers.
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