Google wants to help you avoid COVID-19 related online scams
Google advises users to donate directly to the COVID-19 NGO on their website, and evaluate the links before clicking on them.
To expose users to COVID-19 online risks, Google has launched a dedicated webpage on its Google security website focused on this topic. The webpage lists all the best practices and suggests how to avoid COVID-19 related scams. In addition to more than 240 million COVID-related spam messages over the past few weeks, Google’s COVID-19 related online scams advanced machine-learning classifier has seen 18 million daily malware and phishing attempts related to COVID-19 globally.
The most common types of scams include stealing personal data, fake offers for goods and services, impersonation of officials, fraudulent medical offers, and fake requests for charitable donations among others. Google COVID-19 related online scams have listed the ways in which scammers can reach users, and provides guidance on distinguishing between a fake and an actual message.
A dedicated webpage providing security information is currently available in English and Hindi. Google says more Indian languages will be added in the coming weeks. The Google Threat Analysis Group has detected a significant increase in new scandals revolving around the coronavirus epidemic. This includes phishing emails posing as messages from charities and NGOs battling COVID-19, employees’ instructions from administrators to employees working from home, and even healthcare Notices that spoil providers. To educate users and prevent them from falling for these scams, the COVID-19 webpage offers a variety of tips. It added that scammers can contact users through email, SMS, automated calls, and malicious websites. These unethical players often pose as well-known, credible, and authoritative sources to fool users.
Google advises that users should intercept and evaluate all incoming messages, particularly those that request unwanted information. Scammers usually ask for login information, bank details, request payments, and address details – essentially more information than necessary. Google suggests donating directly to the official website of the NGO rather than clicking on a link sent via message or email. In addition, COVID-19 related online scams scammers always manipulate amateur users by posting fake links that mimic established websites by adding additional websites or letters. ‘If it says something like “click here,” hover over the link or long-press to check the URL for mistakes, be careful not to click it wrong in the URL or email address Spelled words or random letters and numbers can also indicate a scam, ‘Google Caution.
Another best practice is to search for something that looks fishy in Google search. If you send a fraudulent message, copy and paste the text, or email address, or phone number into Google to check if it has been reported by other users. The tech giant also suggests adding an extra layer of security to all accounts by enabling a 2-step verification process. COVID-19 related online scams More recently, Google has also looked at malware-laden sites as sign-in pages for popular social media accounts for health organizations and even official coronavirus virus maps. Google asks users to evaluate well before clicking any link online.