Office of Consumer Protection Warns of ‘Malicious’ COVID-19 Phishing Scams

The Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection has warned of increased phishing scams that take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and teleworking conditions.

On Tuesday, the Office of Consumer Protection issued a warning via Twitter that cyber criminals have been “ramping up malicious phishing scams.” The global pandemic, coupled with the new norm of teleworking, has created a new opportunity for cyber criminals to target the public. They do so by sending people seemingly urgent text messages pertaining to COVID-19.

These text messages will also direct the recipient to click on a link or send a text response to a provided code. Such actions can result in individuals becoming victims of cyber criminals’ phishing scams.

The Office of Consumer Protection’s tweet contained an example of one of these texts, which states, “Someone who came into contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested.” This message is then followed by a link where the recipient can supposedly find more information.

Although the public may receive such text messages, they can easily prevent themselves from being scammed by not clicking on links or sending text responses.

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Mira Varghese

About Mira Varghese

Mira is a student at the University of Maryland double majoring in Journalism and Government & Politics.

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