Watch Out for Coronavirus-related Web, Email Scams

Scam Warning

As you manage disruptions caused by the new coronavirus, watch out for online scams that seek to exploit concern about the disease.

One such scam surfaced Tuesday, March 10, when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned that a malicious live map for COVID-19 cases pretending to come from Johns Hopkins University “is circulating on the internet, waiting for unwitting internet users to visit the website.” Visiting the site infects the user with a trojan virus.

Other scams involve email, including a message from “Ucdavis management” that targeted people at UC Davis. It said some offices would temporarily close because of the virus, and included a link to “the list of affected regions/office”.

“Always think twice before clicking on links or opening attachments,” advises information posted by the University of California:

  • Even if they look like they're from someone you know.
  • Whenever possible, go to web pages by a path you know is legitimate instead of clicking on a link in a message.
  • If an attachment is unexpected, contact the sender by a method you know is legitimate to confirm they sent it.

For the complete UC cybersecurity article, see “Cybersecurity: Make It a Habit!” 

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