FBI Sees Spike In Online Scams Related To COVID-19

The FBI says they had around 2.7 billion dollars in losses from cyber crime last year. 

UNITED STATES – While overall cyber activity has been no different than what FBI agents would see on a normal day, with the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a new worry.

“So we’ll see scams that are trying to sell fraudulent medical equipment, we’ll see scams that are trying to get people to buy testing or vaccines for COVID that don’t exist. Trying to prey on people looking for that kind of COVID material,” says Stephanie Cassioppi, a Supervisory Special Agent at the FBI.

To better protect yourself, the FBI recommends doing what they call a “cyber hygiene”

“Making sure that we don’t open attachments or click suspicious links, that we are not providing our personal identifying information to websites that may not necessarily be legitimate. We need to make sure that we’re updating our passwords, that they’re lengthy,” she says.

If you received an email you believe is a scam, the best thing to do is report it to the company as spam or fraud and they would flag that e-mail.

“If you have responded and you have put in information, the best thing to do at that point is to go to ic3.gov. Go ahead and make the report that you are a victim of some type of fishing, fraud, scam,” she adds.

They add to continue to carefully watch your accounts, to see if any sort of activity happens.

“Monitor if you gave out your social security account, monitor that no additional credit card accounts or big accounts are being opened in your name. Make sure that you’re being a little bit more aware of what you put out there, so that you can catch it should you then be further victimized,” Cassioppi says.

If you think you are a victim of fraud, here is the link to the   FBI’s Internet crime complaint center.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News