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From PSFCU: New Phishing Scams Related to the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 19, 2020

From PSFCU: New Phishing Scams Related to the Coronavirus Outbreak

We have been alerted about emerging new phishing scams

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus. They’re setting up websites to sell false products, and using fake emails, texts, and social media posts as a ruse to steal your money and elicit your personal information. The emails, which contain an infected attachment or a link to a malicious website, are made to appear like they come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO posted an article on its website warning users of this scam.

Fraudsters have also exploited Johns Hopkins University’s interactive Coronavirus dashboard containing an interactive map that tracks Coronavirus statistics by region. Cybersecurity firms have identified several fake Coronavirus interactive maps that infect user devices with credential-stealing malware. Fraudsters are circulating links to these malicious websites containing Coronavirus maps through social media and phishing emails.

There have also been reports of other Coronavirus-themed phishing campaigns aiming to spread malware, including:

  • Coronavirus advice-themed phishing emails purporting to provide advice on how to protect against the virus. The emails might claim to be from medical experts near Wuhan, China where the Coronavirus pandemic started.
  • Workplace policy-themed phishing emails about Coronavirus targeting an organization’s employees. For example, the emails may purport to come from the organization’s HR department alerting employees of a new pandemic policy.

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. Such a link could download a virus onto your computer or portable device. Make sure the anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer is up to date.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. If you see ads touting prevention, treatment, or cure claims for the Coronavirus, ask yourself: if there’s been a medical breakthrough, would you be hearing about it for the first time through an ad or sales pitch?
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. 
  • Be alert to “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning people about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.

If you come across any suspicious claims, report them to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If your personal information has been compromised, please contact PSFCU immediately at 1.855.PSFCU.4U (1.855.773.2848).
Sample of fake email sites:

Fake WHO email    Fake email

The email above may look legitimate, but it is not from the World Health Organization. Those who click on the link wind up on a site created by criminals to steal email credentials.

Cuna Mutual®

When calling this company, please reference POLISH PAGES.

ABOUT PSFCU: Founded in Brooklyn, NY in 1976, PSFCU is the largest ethnic credit union in the U.S. with more than $2 billion in assets. It offers carefully tailored financial products and services to its 135,000 members and their families throughout the country, mainly through its 20 branches in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennslyvania. Long known for its commitment to the communities it serves, the credit union proudly sponsors and supports countless Polish-American organizations, schools, churches and cultural events that all help make local neighborhoods succeed and thrive.