FBI Warns of Coronavirus Scams

Mar 23, 2020 11:08:03 AM

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On Friday, the FBI released an alert warning of increased scams related to the Coronavirus outbreak. From the FBI announcement:

Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both. Don’t let them. Protect yourself and do your research before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information in order to receive money or other benefits.

Some things to think about during this crisis, and general rules to follow to increase your overall security:

Watch the fake emails – There are plenty of emails going around claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Try to confirm that any/all emails that you are reading are from legitimate sources. The CDC website contains the most up-to-date information and can be found at www.cdc.gov.

Charity scams – There are also many organizations claiming to be part of a relief effort or charity to help those affected by the virus. While there is no question that charities are very much in need, please learn if the charity is legitimate before donating. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has resources that you can use to confirm the legitimacy of a charity organization on their website: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/how-donate-wisely-and-avoid-charity-scams

Fake equipment – The FBI is also launching investigations for online sellers of fake or unreliable equipment and testing supplies. In most cases, these supplies will put you (and the public) at greater risk, and should not be used. The government has established www.coronavirus.com and https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ for information about testing and protective equipment. 

Keep these checks in mind to maintain your personal security. One last thought – just because you are working from home doesn’t mean that your company’s information security rules do not apply. Working from home (WFH) creates security challenges that many first-time telecommuters have never faced, and businesses are still liable for the integrity of their data and intellectual property. Remember to check with your company’s security team for any additional precautions that you should take while working remotely. 

Together, we will make it through these difficult times. If you have any questions about this, or any other security-related concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly. Always happy to help!

Chris Steffen

Written by Chris Steffen

Chris brings over 20 years of industry experience to Enterprise Management Associates, focusing on IT management/leadership, cloud security, and regulatory compliance.

Chris has had a variety of roles as a professional, from Camping Director for the Boy Scouts to Press Secretary for the Colorado Speaker of the House. His technical career started in the financial services vertical as the systems administrator for a credit reporting company. As the company continued to grow, Chris built the Network Operations, Information Security, and Technical Compliance practices before leaving as the Principal Technical Architect. He was the Director of IT for a manufacturing company and the Chief Evangelist for several technical companies, focusing on cloud security.

Prior to joining EMA, Chris served as the CIO of a financial services company and supervised the technology-related functions of the enterprise, including the development and implementation of the company’s technical vision and management of the technical staff. He also guided the company through a NIST 800-53 evaluation and successfully obtained an Authority to Operate (ATO).

Chris holds several technical certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award five times for virtualization and cloud and data center management (CDM).

B.A., Political Science (Summa Cum Laude), Metropolitan State College of Denver

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