Millions of Dollars Spent on COVID-19 Scams. It’s Draining Economies Around the World.

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Digital methods have successfully managed to infiltrate the government and health organizations using fake websites, phone calls, phishing emails and posting misinformation using social media channels.

This has terribly caused chaos and major distress among victims and led to financial loss in many cases.

Past several weeks have been crucial for everyone across the globe as COVID-19 takes over our minds and systems. The pandemic has brought a lot with it, including new techniques from scammers and hackers to prey on people’s fears.

Social media tactics are the primary drivers of scams targeting financial firms and data mining.

Apparently, these tactics have had huge success for hackers. Reportedly, 30000 cases have been reported to the law enforcement agencies related to coronavirus. These cases are primarily from the US and UK.

Ecommerce and traveling sites have been primary targets for scams as most people are doing transactions online, enabling exposure of their financial and personal information.

What is the financial loss? (Below information is sourced from Cyware.com):
  • The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported a loss of $13 million due to COVID-19-themed scams. Scams related to online shopping and travel alone resulted in a loss of $1.2 million. Since January, the FTC had received more than 17,000 complaints from US consumers.
  • Reports, received by Action Fraud, highlighted that UK citizens have suffered a loss of over $1.9 million due to more than 500 coronavirus-related scams and over 2,000 phishing attempts. The number of coronavirus-themed phishing attempts stood at 2,192 for the first three months of 2020. People were tricked through phishing emails that included malicious attachments – designed to steal their banking details and login credentials.
  • The government of North Rhine-Westphalia(NRW) lost tens of millions of euros after crooks created copies of an official website build for distributing coronavirus emergency aid funding. Later, these fake websites were distributed among the people through phishing emails. The NRW police had received 567 reports of fraud in relation to this scam.

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