The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned businesses about COVID-19 related scams that were trying to exploit businesses’ concerns about crisis.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned businesses about COVID-19 related scams that were trying to exploit businesses’ concerns about the ongoing health crisis. Check scams, Robocalls scam and IT scams were amongst the seven scams enlisted by the committee. The US is the worst-hit state by the coronavirus pandemic with over 1,131,492 cases of infection and 65,776 fatalities.
According to ANI, the committee has asserted that not only consumers but businesses were at risk too. It has advised businesses to keep their guard up against these seven B2B scams that were trying to exploits companies concerns about COVID-19.
The seven scams
“PUBLIC HEALTH” SCAMS
The committee warned that many fraudsters were sending messages claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or other public health offices. It added that other variations direct staff to click on a link or download a document.
GOVERNMENT CHECK SCAMS
FTC committee has said that fraudsters were also calling or emailing businesses out of the blue claiming there’s money available from a government agency if they just make an up-front payment or provide some personal information.
BUSINESS EMAIL SCAMS
They also warned companies about frauds perpetrated via business emails. For example, in a CEO scam, an employee gets a message that appears to come from a company higher-up directing the person to wire money, transfer funds, send gift card codes, etc. In reality, a con artist has spoofed the boss’ email address or phone number.
According to the committee, IT scam works like a CEO scam, but this time the call or message claims would come from a member of technology staff asking for a password or directing the recipient to download software. In the current temporary “upside down-ness,” con artists may do a quick online search to glean a tidbit to really sell their story – for example, “I spoke with Fred, who said you were having a computer problem.
With many businesses scrambling for supplies, the committee advised businesses to heed warnings about websites that mimic the look of well-known online retailers. They claim to have the essentials you need, but in reality, they’re fakes that take your “order,” grab your credit card number and run.
According to FTC, some of these fraudster Robocalls pitch bogus test kits and sanitation supplies with others have businesses in their sights.
With more people telecommuting, hackers are hoping companies will drop their online defences, making it easier to infiltrate data-rich networks and commit frauds, the committee asserted. It added that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has resources on making a safer transition to a remote workplace.