Scammers use the coronavirus in phishing emails

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Some scammers are using the coronavirus as a way to trick people into opening emails.

At the Conversant Group, cybersecurity experts are aware of phishing emails going around the country claiming to be from the World Health Organization or the CDC.

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“Phishing is anyone who is trying to impersonate a known organization or someone you have been in contact with or using buzzwords like coronavirus to get your attention and they are trying to get you to interact with them,” said Ryan Seay, with the Conversant Group.

There are ways to know it’s a scam.

“Anything that has a call to action. So something that says you need to do this in the next 24 hours or your account will be cut off, those sorts of things,” said Shayne Champion, with the Conversant Group.



Over at UTC, Will Laney, the chief information security officer, says this can cause more problems for victims.

“They are hoping you do not have different credentials for other online accounts such as your bank. Which understates the importance of having different IDs and passwords for different online presences,” Laney said.

There can be mistakes in the email.

“Make sure it is actually from where they claim to be and lastly, the final thing I will say is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Laney said.

If you’ve clicked on the phishing email, change your password as quickly as possible.

“If you’ve opened an attachment you want to make sure you run one probably two antivirus solutions on your desktop, a lot of those are freely available,” Champion said.

Cybersecurity experts say the main takeaway is not to open anything suspicious.