DHS Urges Public to Guard Against Coronavirus Charity Scams
Malicious cyber actors could take advantage of public concern surrounding COVID-19 by conducting phishing attacks and disinformation campaigns.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is warning the public about fake charities seeking to raise money to fight the novel coronavirus or help victims.
The DHS issued a cybersecurity warning that advises individuals and businesses to be on alert for scams related to the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 viral disease. Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
Individuals and businesses should exercise caution in handling any email with a coronavirus or COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to the disease.
The DHS’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions. The following hyperlinks are to federal government websites and have been verified as valid/safe.
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources — such as legitimate, government websites — for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information
A CISA document furthering detailing risk management for novel coronavirus can be downloaded here.
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