2020 Year of the Viral Scam: this year will be remembered for many things, in the tech world it will be remembered as the year of the viral scam.
2020 Year of the Viral Scam
From start to April 30 Canadians have reported 18803 fraud cases. The total for 2019 was 46,317 so we’re averaging a 1,000 more reports of fraud per month for 2020. Remember a lot of people are too embarrassed to report fraud so the numbers are probably much higher.
Most of the recent scams are related to COVID-19 and CERB cheques. You get most of the CERB scams via text message. If you get a text message informing you to click here to deposit your Canada Emergency Relief Benefit, delete it immediately. More on CERB scams here.
Hackers have also exploited the Black Lives Matter movement to spread malware via email attachments.
Subject samples lines include:
Give YOUR Feedback anonymous about “Black Lives Matter”
Leave a review nameless about “Black Lives Matter”
Speak out confidentially about “Whose Lives Matter”
Tell your government your opinion nameless about “Whose Lives Matter”
Vote anonymous about “Black Lives Matter”
Hackers are definitely working the headlines.
Romance on the rise
Could the I Love You bug work again? Not the code, but its premises still work. First, it exploited people’s need for love and attention (particularly at work). Second it exploited people’s curiosity overriding their fear of strange attachments. Third, the goal of the virus was to rip off the victims. None of that has changed in the last 20 years. More on the I Love You virus or LoveBug here.
What you need to know
- Hackers exploit the headlines
- Hackers exploit emotions like greed, fear, love
- avoid attachments
- report the fraud to Canadian Anti Fraud Centre
Here’s link to an infographic on seven red flags of phishing emails from GetCyberSafe.ca . Also a link to my work safe from home PDF. Stay cybersafe this 2020.