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    Scam of the Month: A Sneaky Pandemic Relief Scam

    27 July, 2020

    Scam of the Month: A Sneaky Pandemic Relief Scam

    A new online scam using the lure of attaining pandemic relief is making the rounds. It’s particularly tricky as it presses all the “urgency buttons,” while eluding detection as being malicious.

    The phishing email, which appears to be coming from a source of government funding, claims to offer financial relief to people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and in need of assistance. Adding to the artificial sense of urgency for this target audience is a supposed “expiration deadline” that must be met.

    Within the email is a link to Dropbox (a well-known file sharing service), which makes it seem legitimate to the user and also helps to sidestep any security filters. Victims are told to click the link to download a file with more information about receiving their relief grant. Instead, they’re taken to a phony Microsoft 365 login page, where they’re tricked into giving detailed information that goes to the scammers.

    Here are some tips to keep from falling for this type of scam:

    • Double check the sender’s email address and verify that it is coming from an official domain.
    • Never click a link or download an attachment in an email that you were not expecting.
    • Be cautious of supposed “deadlines.” Creating a false sense of urgency is a common ploy used by scammers.
    • Before clicking a Dropbox link, confirm its legitimacy with the sender by reaching out through another means, such as by phone or in person.

    Pay attention and avoid being fooled!

    Stop, Look, and Think.

    Don't be fooled.


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