Coronavirus phishing scams are on the rise, as scammers play off of vulnerability

Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-02 18:25:57-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Hackers are using the Coronavirus as bait, reeling vulnerable victims in, and online scams are at an all-time high according to one cybersecurity expert.

“Just this week we saw 4 clients that have been scammed, one person who lost $25,000 dollars due to a scam. Microsoft will never call you, your bank will probably never call you, and if it's not somebody that you recognize or they sound a little distant, hang up,” said Christian Wartchow, CEO, CyberSecure I.T. Solutions.

Hackers are playing off of emotion by using COVID- 19 contact tracing to lure victims in.

“Where they talk about testing for Covid, that Covid is in your neighborhood, that you were with somebody that had Covid, click on this link either in email or text and that then will launch malware which can take over your phone or take over your computer,” said Christian Wartchow, CEO, CyberSecure I.T. Solutions.

By clicking the link you then give hackers full access to your device, such as monitoring keystrokes, and obtaining personal information, all social engineered to grab your attention.

"So that it's attractive and you are curious to click on a keyword or a link that you receive, and that then gives the person the ability to access your computer remotely. They can either lock down your computer, demand a ransom, prevent you from using your email, anything, even lock your files and demand a ransom, said Christian Wartchow, CEO, CyberSecure I.T. Solutions.

In order to protect yourself Wartchow says it's simple, before opening an email, simply stop and think, and if you are hacked, call for help right away.

"Get rid of that email right away, put it in your trash, mark it as spam, call a professional. If you are hacked, call an I.T. company. We can run tests, we can scan your entire machine to make sure you haven’t had a virus, or if you do, to remove it and get you set up so we can block those types of spam emails,” said Christian Wartchow, CEO, CyberSecure I.T. Solutions.