Phishing Scams that Exploit COVID-19 Crisis

With COVID-19 in the news daily, scam artists are taking advantage of the situation through a variety of reframed phishing or social engineering opportunities leveraging COVID-19 to get your attention. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to be extra vigilant during this time to prevent being taken advantage of by these individuals.

Some of the more popular attacks we have seen include:

  • A phishing scam for financial assistance related to the CARES act and COVID-19 was sent to students at UConn in an attempt to collect NetID and passwords.
  • Software and websites purported to either track individuals with COVID-19 or share information on COVID-19 are on the rise. These applications often install malware on systems in an attempt to steal information.
  • During this time when many individuals have lost their job and source of income, we continue to see numerous fake jobs being sent out for students to work as assistants performing administrative tasks. Often times this scam results in the individual receiving a fraudulent check and purchasing gift cards, which can cause significant financial loss.
  • With lots of individuals working remotely, we as many others continue to see the “are you available” messages. Individuals will pretend to be the person’s direct supervisor and will request that the person purchase gift cards for them.

For questions or concerns about any potential phishing email, please contact the Technology Support Center.