COVID-19 is changing a lot about how people are doing their jobs and using the internet. Our communication has become virtual by necessity. This means a lot more information is being passed online. Unfortunately, that also means more incorrect and purposefully faked information.
The spread of the coronavirus has given scammers a heightened chance to get close to people online. Some tactics scammers are using are contacting people by phone, email and posting fake information through social media.
See: How to Spot and Avoid Phishing Scams
There is one method that stands out from the rest – coronavirus app scams. These apps are available to download across many mobile devices. While designed to “track” the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the real purpose is to insert malware to compromise the device and steal the user’s data and personal information.
DomainTools, a cyber security & threat platform, has said the firm confirmed an Android app advertising COVID-19 tracking. Once downloaded, the app requests to enable full control of the device so it may use your phone’s GPS to track your location and COVID-19 patients in your area. An app requesting additional permissions isn’t new to users, it’s a common way for companies to get your approval to legally open your camera and files. However, malicious apps take it a step further by giving a ransom message that threatens the user their information will be erased unless they pay to keep it.
The coronavirus pandemic is a scary time and few things feel certain, but one thing you can be certain about is threats for money are never legitimate. If you’ve installed any programs or platforms claiming to track the coronavirus, Friendly PC suggests deleting the applications immediately and securing your information on all accounts.
If you feel your devices have been compromised, we can help through our remote support plan. We’re offering a special discount to aid our community during this time. Our technicians will contact you over the phone and assist with any problems through secure virtual platforms.