Covid-19 Scams That Are Hitting Businesses
It’s not a surprise for the more cynical among us, that there are people out there targeting individuals, using the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse. But it may surprise you to know that there are many Covid-related scams now hitting the business world too.
Keep your guard up against these scams – trying to exploit a company’s fears about Covid. This is useful information that will help keep you, your employees, and your assets safe.
Government Check Scams
There has been a lot of talk about financial help and assistance for businesses who have been hit hardest by the covid pandemic. This is one of the rumours criminals are taking advantage of, making their scams sound more believable.
These scammers are doing the rounds, phoning businesses and claiming that there is money available for your business from a government agency. These scammers will ask for some sort of up-front payment, or for you to provide some kind of personal information. Don’t be fooled. A government agency would never phone and ask you to provide any personal details.
Business Email Scams
These are scams which have spoofed a company higher-ups email address and will ask you to send some money, or gift cards, transfer funds etc to another account. This may seem really plausible at first glance, but it’s really important to get face-to-face clarification, or at least over the phone, before sending anything.
This scam has been around for years, but in last year’s flurry of pandemic panic, this scam has seen a resurgence. Last year there were a lot of cancelled transactions, muddled orders, and cancelled deals – all of which scammers are taking advantage of.
Public Health Scams
You may receive an email from “Public Health England” or “WHO” asking for national insurance numbers and other personal information about your employees. The reality is that these are not emails from PHE or the World Health Organisation.
It’s a scammer, trying to access the personal records of your employees, to use for nefarious purposes. Some emails will even try to get you to click a download link which will install malware on your device. Stay vigilant and remember that no official organisations will ask for confidential information over the phone or via email.
With more and more people working from home, that provides more and more opportunity for hackers to gain access to a less than secure network. Now that telecommuting and Zoom meetings have begun the norm, hackers and scammers are hoping that companies will drop their network security.
Making sure you have a robust and safe network, with additional security systems in place will help keep your company’s data safe from people who shouldn’t be seeing it. Keep your employees updated on these scams and make sure they’re following safe internet working policies, even while at home. Especially while at home.
This is similar to the email from a company higher up, but usually these messages will purport to come from your company’s IT department. It usually asks for a password or to download some ‘new software’. Of course, the software is really malware, and the password is wanted in order to access data they shouldn’t have access to.
Scammers are using the general chaos of the pandemic in order to take advantage. With people working from home, they’re not as confident in using the technology, and trying to focus on their new way of working means that they’re not necessarily paying full attention to whether the emails are from a legitimate source. Remind your employees that they should always double check who an email is from and if there’s ever any concerns to phone the person the email claims to be from, directly.