Beware of COVID-19-related scams

Cyber criminals are capitalizing on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by taking advantage of consumers’ vulnerabilities and uncertainties. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, there have been 766 reports and $1.2 million lost to COVID-19-related fraud between March 6 and May 1, 2020.

Cyber security experts have reported that criminals are impersonating trusted government and health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and directing the victims to convincing websites that are set up to steal their information and money. Review the official list of reported scams.

Here are some quick tips for what to do if you suspect a cyber attack:

  • Resist the rush: If someone pressures you to act quickly under pressure, it is most likely an attack.
  • Recognize the ‘bag of tricks’: If something sounds suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Think before you click: Be cautious — one wrong move could infect your device and spread it to others.
  • Unsure? Always ask: Ask your manager or your administrator if what you are being asked to do is unusual; inquire through your common communication channels.
  • Do not respond unless you are certain: Do not provide your phone number or respond to emails you are suspicious of. Hang up the phone if you feel threatened.
  • React quickly if you suspect your account/computer was compromised: Change your password and contact your local IT department.

Learn more about how to protect yourself against personalized attacks.