Beware of Cyber and Telephone Scams

Stay vigilant and beware of online and telephone scams by reading these tips.

Beware of cyber and telephone scams

If there is one thing that is certain during a pandemic, it is that cybercriminals will use it for their own gain. Organizations across the world are seeing a significant increase in emails designed to trick people into clicking on malicious links and attachments or providing sensitive information like credit card numbers and passwords. Phone scams are also on the rise, making offers that seem just to good to be true.

The malicious email may appear to come from a legitimate organization like the “Public Health Agency” or the “Centre for Disease Control” with a subject line of “Confidential Cure for Coronavirus”, “Coronavirus Safety Measures”, or "Funding Application". Please be vigilant, these emails are carefully designed to trick you. Phone scams often follow a similar pattern in that they are made to appear to be coming from a legitimate organization.

Anyone using the internet needs to exercise extreme caution when visiting websites and opening emails. Do not open any email that appears suspicious or asks you to click on a link. Do not open any document attachment if you are not 100% certain that both the sender and the content are legitimate. These links and attachments may contain viruses that can access and significantly harm your computer and the data on it.

Actions required:

  • ​be aware that criminals are using the pandemic to take advantage of vulnerable people;
  • avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments in email messages;
  • avoid visiting websites that may not be safe ;
  • if a phone call offer sounds unusual, or too good to be true, simply hang up; and
  • educate others to exercise good security hygiene when receiving email messages.

There are many valuable resources available that you can use to become more cyber aware. Check out the 7 Flags of Phishing infographic or the Get Cyber Safe website as a great starting point.