It's important to safeguard your personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.
In times of crisis, opportunistic individuals sometimes take advantage of these topics to play into fears, uncertainties, and doubts and attempt to get people to do things they normally might not do.
You might see websites or links shared that claim to have more information on coronavirus, or suggest people you know have been infected, all in an attempt to get you to click on something malicious.
Here are some suggestions from MSU IT and the Federal Trade Commission:
Some of the most common scams are described below. It is best to rely on official government and other reputable websites for information. Follow university updates and information at msu.edu/coronavirus.
Fraudulent Cures and Treatment
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), "There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—online or in stores." Any website or email that claims otherwise is a scam.
If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. See the FTC's How to donate wisely and avoid charity scams.
Beware of emails and social media postings that claim to be from experts. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The U.S. Secret Service has reported a number of phishing scams related to the virus. People may receive a phishing email claiming to be from a medical/health organization that links to fraudulent sites where people are asked to enter their email, password, and other identity information. These attachments contain malware.
Tracking Maps with Malware
Attackers are circulating links to malicious websites disguised as COVID-19 maps on social media and through misleading emails. When you visit one of these sites, you may be prompted to install an applet. The applet then infects your device with malware that steals data, such as login credentials and banking information. Do not install unknown apps and applets. Stick to verified COVID-19 tracking maps (like this one from Bing) and double-check the URL of linked websites before clicking.
MSU IT continuously works to keep the community safe and connected, but sound cybersecurity practices are everyone’s responsibility. Educate yourself on safe computing, data care, and other information security resources at secureit.msu.edu.
Please report security incidents and forward suspicious emails targeting the MSU community to email@example.com. Contact MSU IT for questions or concerns: Call 517-432-6200 or 1-844-678-6200, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat go.msu.edu/itchat.