As the world is looking down through a window of recession, none of us are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This viral contagion is not only destroying the global economies, but has established a highly profitable platform for criminals and scammers.
These scammers will make countless attempts to exploit the COVID-19 anxiety creating uncertainties in order to defraud people. Their aim is to instill the COVID-19 fear in people, where in turn people surrender to making irrational decisions in disclosing their private/confidential information. As a nation and citizens of the globe, we must understand the dangerous outcomes and varieties of these scams. Law enforcement officials and governments have already began taking security measures in combatting these criminals in the theft of data, spreading false information, and various forms of money-making scams.
The question is, how can you as a consumer be vigilant about these ongoing cyber scams? The answer is simple, as consumers we must be extremely vigilant at all times refraining from sharing our personal and/or financial information by any means. Let’s take a look at some of the most obvious forms of cyber scams fraudsters have been targeting since the outbreak of the novel corona virus.
- Health Treatment Scams – Marketing of fake vaccinations, medications and other curing methods for COVID-19.
- Sanitation Supply Scams – Consumers shop online hoping to find their essential needs in order to survive through the prevention of coronavirus in quarantine, isolation, and/or social-distancing. They find a so-called trusted site and begin placing their orders for food items, household cleaning supplies or medical supplies such as masks, gloves, sanitizers. Upon adding all items to their basket and proceeding with the checkout process, and getting a confirmed date of delivery, the consumer assumes they’re all set to go! However, at that moment the scammer has already taken the funds and the delivery of the goods will never reach its designated address.
- Donation / Charity Scams – The scammers fraudulently solicit donations to help people with COVID-19 pandemic relief fundraising by using non-existing charity names. Make sure to always do your research about the source before attempting to make a good deed.
- Phishing Scams – Scammers will send out fake emails as representatives of official health organizations tricking you the recipient into sharing your personal information such as ID’s, passwords, and account numbers.
- Phone App Scams – Scammers have created apps related to COVID-19 with a malware that is specifically created to steal personal information of the user once the app is downloaded.
As people around the globe are feeling the massive effects of the pandemic and adrift, their responses to certain pressures are also varied. In facing the conflicting news and information about COVID-19, we must avoid responding with shock, fear or panic at all costs.
Everyone must take serious measures to protect themselves from becoming the next victims of cybercrime. None of us have to be the next victim, if we are more vigilant about our online consumer behavior.
Click on the link below for further instructions on how to go about reporting cyber-crimes in Saudi Arabia:
Read below on how you can become more VIGILANT and not the next VICTIM!
- Do not open unsolicited emails and/or links or email attachments
- Always utilize legit government websites to rely on up-to date information or facts on COVID-19
- Do not provide or reveal any personal information in an email, by phone or text messages.
- Prior to making any type of donations to a charity make sure to verify their authenticity.
- Make sure to shop only with known and trusted online retailers for your grocery, health, and personal care needs.
Always keep in mind that with the increasing global rates of the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber criminals and scammers will be more and more persistent in order to expand their financial profit scale. Government officials and authorities worldwide are already taking the necessary protective measures to crack down on this case. The ministry of interior spokesperson Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub stated that violators and perpetrators who produce, share or send photos or videos of violations of the curfew order given by the Public Prosecution will be charged under the Article 6 of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law. The law imposes a fine up to 3 million SAR and up to five years jailtime.
WE ARE ONE GLOBAL COMMUNITY & WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!