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Disruption Resilience: Beware of COVID-19 Scams

March 17, 2020

The rapid spread of the coronavirus provides a great opportunity for scammers trick vulnerable people into providing something of value (such as passwords, gift cards, bank account information) based on fear or concerns. Stay alert and don't fall victim to fraudulent communications! To report a scam, email itprotect@umass.edu

Federal Trade Commision (FTC) information on known scams exploiting the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing

Types of Scams

  • An email from an address that looks like your supervisor, department head, or Dean asking for a favor, and typically asking for something of value, such as gift cards.
  • An email saying your account or password will expire and you will lose your access, or saying your mailbox is full and you need to increase your storage limit. These typically collect usernames and passwords on a fraudulent login page.
  • An unexpected email advertising a job or internship offer. These scams typically ask for your contact information and schedule.

Common Scam Indicators for Emails & Phone Calls

  • The message communicates a tremendous sense of urgency. Scammers attempt to trick you into acting quickly without thinking.
  • The message pressures you into bypassing or ignoring our security policies and procedures, or threatens harm if you don’t pay.
  • The message promotes miracle cures, such as vaccines or medicine that will protect you.
  • Be very suspicious of any unexpected phone call or message that claims to be a person of authority urging you to take immediate action.

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