Coronavirus and Hackers

We often warn that digital fraud is a growing threat to dealers. The coronavirus gives hackers and scammers an opportunity to show there is no depth too low for them to sink. Their scams are ever-evolving, and they continue to prey upon our fears.

Hackers and scammers are using emails that appear to be official from the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, or other state or local health authorities with informative links about the coronavirus. Once the link is clicked, the company is exposed to a computer virus. Or, emails appear to look like invoices for official company purchases for face masks, hand sanitizers, or similar supplies, but ask the recipient to wire payment to a fraudulent account. Quarantines because of the virus even provide a fresh opportunity for that old standby – the boss is stranded, so wire lots of money.

How to protect yourself

Now is a good time to be proactive to avoid falling victim to online fraud.  Remind employees about the company’s social media and email policies.  They should be aware of suspicious email spoofs and links. If employees want information, they should visit the official websites of the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Also, communicate to employees how the company will notify them about available coronavirus precautions and outbreak information at the company. Finally, talk to your IT provider to make sure they have updated protections to battle the increased threat, and confirm they are testing regularly to weed out these suspicious and fraudulent emails.