COVID-19 vaccine phishing scams are devastating people and companies

Cyber attacks are never static. They’re continually evolving. 

For example: 

  1. Covid phishing scams. Last March, bad actors spoofed people by sending emails that said you’ve been in contact with someone who possibly has COVID. Some of the emails came from a fake CDC domain. The email would instruct you to click this link to know what you should do next. By clicking that link, hackers were able to gain access or deploy ransom/malware. 
  2. Stimulus check and small business loan. Criminals posed as federal workers contacted business owners requesting additional personal information to approve an application for relief loans.
  3. Presidential election. Criminals posed as political volunteers attempting to register voters or solicit donations over the phone and through email. In these scams, the “volunteer” asked for donations to a candidate/political party with a credit card number or ask for personal information such as a Social Security Number to fill out a voter registration form.

Those phishing emails, unfortunately, scammed countless people. Now, with the COVID vaccine becoming available, bad actors are at it again. 

Jason Nales and Ann Pistone wrote: 

The subject line may say “URGENT INFORMATION LETTER: COVID 19 NEW APPROVED VACCINES.” Or they could be emails saying you can buy the COVID-19 vaccine.

The I-Team asked a random group of people about falling for these scams.

“It’s horrible. Because people who are desperate and vulnerable or has been affected personally by it, are going to be desperate to get the vaccine,” said Kimberly Grady.

“I can see how some vulnerable people click on it, but just gotta tell our loved ones that and our elders that they can’t be opening up suspicious texts and emails,” Casey Agnew said.

You cannot buy the COVID-19 vaccine online. The FDA just authorized the first one, and distribution is being monitored closely.

The Better Business Bureau and the Food and Drug administration have already issued vaccine scam warnings.

“They are preying on you with anything, the hope of getting a vaccine in order so you can continue their life as normal,” said Nick Hampson, head of engineering for Checkpoint Software Technologies.

Vaccine scams can also come in phishing texts or emails that look like they’re from a reputable company or government agency.

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