Coronavirus scams: How to protect yourself

Coronavirus scams: How to protect yourself

While nonessential businesses are closed and people are ordered to stay-at-home, scammers are working harder than ever.

Hackers are preying on peoples fears regarding the coronavirus and federal investigators say the problem is only getting worse.

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“We’ve definitely seen a huge uptick in coronavirus -- or COVID-19 -- related fraud. Unfortunately, criminals from around the world are preying on people’s anxieties and fears,” said FBI Pittsburgh Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chad Yarbrough.

The FBI says they're attacking through malware, which can infect your computer.

However, they have several recommendations on how you can protect yourself:

  • Avoid opening unknown attachments or links, which could lead to malware.
  • Verify any information sent through an email and do your own research, whether it's through the CDC or local health departments.
  • Never share log-ins or personal information with someone you don’t know.

The FBI is still operating business as usual, but Yarbrough said they're following CDC guidelines.

“We're working with them, HHS and other federal agencies to make sure we're doing all we can to minimize contact with the virus on the workforce. But at the same time we still have a mission to do and we're continuing to do it,” Yarbrough said.

The FBI said the best thing you can do is be vigilant and aware of what links you’re opening and expect hackers efforts to continue as people spend more time in front of their computers.

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