66 days ago

Covid-19: Scammers ask for money, votes in exchange for coronavirus vaccine

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

Hi neighbours,

As the Covid-19 vaccine rolls out, watch out for scammers preying on the vulnerable.

Crown agency CERT NZ (the Computer Emergency Response Team) is warning the public to stay vigilant after it was notified of a series of different scams.

The con artists are requesting credit card and personal information in return for a Covid-19 vaccine.

The first scam involves a phone call advising that the vaccine is available for $49.99.

People are then prompted to enter their credit card details.

The other scam asks people to head to a website where people can ‘vote’ in order to be eligible for the vaccine.

CERT NZ advised people in both instances to hang up the phone and make a note of what number the call came from, as well as the time and date it happened.

“We are actively working to put a stop to these scams as quickly as possible,” the agency said.

If bank details have been provided then people should contact their bank immediately, it said.

Meanwhile, in another hoax, people claiming to be from the World Health Organisation are asking email recipients to donate to the Who Covid-19 response fund.

Tricksters have also been targeting people with coronavirus-themed phishing emails with infected attachments containing fictitious safety measures.

The link, supposed to contain health information, installs malicious software designed to steal personal information.

In another scam, victims are asked to fill in their email and password to access information about Covid-19.

Emails are also being sent demanding money from victims to avoid video footage being circulated of the recipients in compromising positions.

Newer variations of this con are threatening to spread coronavirus to family members if a ransom is unpaid.

Security researchers have identified a new campaign where the attackers claim to have a ‘coronavirus map’ application that people can download onto their devices.

In fact the application is malware designed to steal sensitive information such as passwords.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COVID-19 SCAMS:

CERT NZ recommends anyone looking for COVID-19 information looks to their regular news sites and official government websites.

The organisation urges people to be sceptical of advice that did not come from official sources.

If you are unsure if a communication is from a legitimate source, do not click on the link or open the attachment.

Contact the organisation through their official contact channels to verify.

Protect your passwords and login credentials, don’t enter these into any websites relating to the COVID-19 virus.

Keep your devices up-to-date.

Keep your anti-virus up to date and run regular checks.

Report suspected malware or phishing attempts to CERT NZ.

Go to www.cert.govt.nz... for more information.

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