Danger! Danger! How to Avoid Scams

It’s pretty certain that the Coronavirus quarantine has sent all of us to our electronic devices more than ever as we search for reliable information about the virus (or just pass the time playing Candy Crush!).  Merrill Lynch recently sent a timely warning about protecting your online financial and personal information during these unusual times.

The article pointed out that online scams, such as fake websites and phishing emails, are being revised to look like they offer health information or pointers for how to stay safe. In reality, these scams can steal your personal information or load malware onto your computer.

Recent scams include:

An App to track Coronavirus cases. This app uses maps that resemble those from legitimate health organization but contains malware that can freeze your computer.

Phishing Scams. A fraudulent email may say it is from the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control but requests personal information and has links to malware-infected sites.

Robocalls. The caller offers to help collect government stimulus payments as a cover for gathering your personal information.

How do you protect yourself?

Use secure wireless networks that require a password.

Don’t use public wi-fi networks.

Don’t respond to emails from unknown sender and don’t click on the links in the email.

Verify messages even if you know the sender.  If something seems suspicious, then call the sender to verify whether he sent the email.

Stay up-to-date with the latest software and security patches.

If you’ve been targeted:

          Don’t delay, act quickly after any suspicious activity.

          Call the police and file reports.

          Document everything about the incident.

          Change all passwords.

          Contact your bank to freeze transactions immediately.

Tell friends and family to be on alert for suspicious emails that appear to come from you.

          Monitor your bank accounts for anything unusual.

For even more information about these types of scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s advice page. Please stay safe!

(Google Image from kitchenertoday.com)

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Legal Strategies, P.C. 

Terri North is the Macomb County, Michigan attorney who heads up the Legal Strategies practice. Legal Strategies assists clients in the areas of estate planning, probate and real estate. 
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