Cybercriminals are cashing in on the corona emergency

Belgian police have issued a warning to criminals not to see the COVID-19 outbreak as an opportunity, while the Centre for Cybersecurity is warning against cybercriminals, who are trying to cash in on the emergency.

Police note that many shops and businesses are closed due to the coronavirus emergency.  The situation seems ideal for burglars.  Federal police have taken to social media to stress that criminals trying to benefit from the emergency will still be tracked down.

Belgium’s Centre for Cybersecurity warns against emails containing computer viruses or messages claiming to come from banks or organisations providing information about COVID-19 or the coronavirus. Click on the link and you may be defrauded or you could import computer viruses onto your computer.

Cybercriminals are also sending WhatsApp messages hoping to defraud you! Phishing emails too are a worry.  Criminals claim to be somebody else, e.g. your bank and try to get hold of your personal information and money, steel your identity or control of your account.

The name of the World Health Organisation is also being used to collect funds that will never reach the WHO but end up in the pockets of cybercriminals. Emails contain a link claiming to offer the latest information, but cybercriminals are behind it!

Be wary of WhatsApp messages that urge you to transfer a couple of cents to another account.  A lot more cash could be moved.  If you are a victim of cybercrime, file a complaint with the police.

Always check the identity of the sender. In recent days fraudulent emails have surfaced claiming to come from telenet.com!

Safeonweb, the information website of the Belgian Centre for Cybersecurity, too is warning against emails with attachments linked to the corona emergency.  Attempts to infect your computer with a virus are being made in emails about the coronavirus with attachments referring to the Johns Hopkins University, a real university that is involved in monitoring the disease. At a time when many people are working from home cybercriminals see an opportunity of breaking into businesses’ computer systems.

Beware of the app ‘Covid 19-tracker’ that works on the Android operating system.  It claims to follow the virus but blocks your mobile and tries to get you to pay to get it unblocked.

'Onwaar' btw is Dutch for 'false'!

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