Be wary of COVID-19 scams

Criminals like nothing better than the opportunity to exploit human fears and curiosity. With uncertain times ahead, criminal agents have been hard at work. Cyber security researchers and teams around the world have seen a surge in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) themed cybercrime.

These include credential smishing (SMS phishing) or phishing in which the recipient is encouraged to click a link to register for the COVID-19 testing in their area. The links take the target to a page where they are asked for personally identifiable information (PII), credit/bank details and passwords. There has also been malware delivered by links or attachments in emails, and web pop-ups purporting to contain important COVID-19 information.

Take care to ensure that any messages (phone, email or text) regarding COVID-19 are genuine before replying, downloading, clicking links or providing information.

Tips to stay protected from COVID-19 themed cybercrime:

  • Be highly suspicious of emails or texts purportedly coming from the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is highly unlikely they will contact you directly. Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There are currently no vaccines, medicines or over-the-counter products available to treat COVID-19.
  • Be cautious when it comes to making COVID-19 donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites.

What to do if you are impacted by cybercrime

If you have become a victim of cybercrime in an individual capacity you should report the matter to the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

If you believe you have been impacted by cybercrime in a work capacity, contact IT Support immediately.