(WSPA) – Just as soon as the Coronavirus hit epidemic status, scammers have been seizing the opportunity to make a profit.
Now that it’s a pandemic, there seems to be more Covid-19 scams than ever.
Here is a highlight of some of the most prevalent.
- Personal Protective Equipment scams:
We’ve told you how scammers have been selling things like masks and other PPE that they claim is medical grade when it’s not. Now there’s another twist to this scam.
Susan Ingles with SC Legal Services warns scammers are capitalizing off peoples’ desire to do good by targeting people who want to make masks. She says they tell people “you can make money by making masks for us, all you needs to do is buy the equipment for making the masks,” and then that equipment never arrives.
- Loan Scams:
Ingles says she is also worried about the resurgance in mortgage lending and student loan scams, where would-be lenders offer to consolidate loans and leave victims in greater debt.
“It’s the hopefulness where the scam always works the best,” she said.
Steve Weisman, a professor at Bentley University and the founder of Scamicide.com, says with more people working from home ransomware is on the rise. You know the drill, hackers gain access with malicious links and lock your computer. Then they threaten to erase all your files if you don’t pay up.
“Recently they’ve also come up with another way of monetizing it and what they tell you is, if you don’t pay us this ransom we’re going to make this information public and it’s embarrassing.”
- Unemployment scam:
Even the extra unemployment benefits are putting people at risk after the Secret Service discovered a Nigerian ring has been claiming those checks for Americans who are still working. The clue; a letter from your state saying you’ve been approved.
- Mobile Banking Scams:
More people are also getting hit nowadays with mobile banking app scams. They get on your phone when you download seemingly harmless apps, but actually have malicous code.
“Instead it pulls up not just your mobile banking app but it pulls up the banking trojan on top of it so it looks like you’re downloading your user name and password into the banking app but your actually providing it to the criminals,” said Weisman.
At least for this scam there’s an easy solution always use two factor authentication and extra layer of protection beyond your password.