Scammers leverage contact-tracing in hacking attempt

Savvy scammers use contract tracing texts to dupe users into handing over personal information

Scammers are posing as contact tracers to dupe frightened people into sharing their personal details, according to Cyware.

According to the security company, these scammers are sending users fake text messages asking them to click on a link and share their personal details.

To encourage them to do so, the text messages claim to be notifying them of contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus.

For those unfamiliar with the term, contact-tracing is the process of identifying individuals who may have come in contact with someone who’s tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has already warned users in the UK about a phishing scam centered on a contact tracing app.

Meanwhile, New Jersey officials recently revealed thousands of reports of scams involving fake coronavirus contact tracers in recent weeks. Police in Ohio also issued a warning related to a contact tracing scam in Cuyahoga County. 

To combat these scammers, the Federal Trade Commission has issued guidelines to help protect users against coronavirus contact-tracing scams.

These guidelines encourage users to be on the lookout for red flags like poor English, links within text messages along with requests for personal data. To further protect themselves from text message scams, the FTC also encourages users to enable multifactor authentication for all their accounts.

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