Hackers will take advantage of any opportunity presented to them—even if it’s a scary global pandemic.

And during this era of coronavirus, hackers have been busy.

They’re using concerns over coronavirus to prey on individuals, exploiting fears to tempt people to click on malicious links and download computer viruses.

At first, hackers were taking advantage of the global pandemic with an email scam that targeted consumers. Now they’re targeting businesses with a new coronavirus business scam. With both of these scams, criminals are using concerns over the outbreak to unleash malware. In other words, hackers are continuing to try and find ways to make money by playing off everyone’s concerns and fears.

What to Look Out For

As we mentioned in a previous post, cyber group Check Point found that coronavirus-themed domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains, so be extra wary of these websites.

One coronavirus business scam is targeting professionals by sending phishing emails that look like a company’s purchase order for facemasks or other supplies that could trick employees into making payments to a fraudulent account.

Scammers will also send phishing emails about a company’s remote-work plan in hopes to get a response that provides personal details.

According to Proofpoint Inc.’s analysis cited in an article for the Wall Street Journal, attackers have sent emails containing nearly a dozen types of malware. Some of these emails even include company logos, instructions, and attachments.

Don’t Become a Victim

As long as the coronavirus stays in the headlines, so will the scams. Therefore, in order to avoid becoming a victim of one of them, it’s critical that everyone adopt and develop good cybersecurity behaviors and habits.

Here are a couple of tips to help you reduce your risk of falling victim to a coronavirus scam:

1. Say no to links and attachments.

Never click a link, open an attachment, or download a file that you are not expecting. Instead, first contact the sender to verify its authenticity. If the sender is not someone you regularly interact with, ignore the email—especially if they prompt for a certain action you would not usually take. If it is someone you know, still verify the email before you click any links or open any attachments.

2. Don’t forward emails.

DO NOT share or forward emails about the coronavirus unless you have verified their authenticity. They are often alarmist to the point of being hoaxes or may contain outdated details. In the case of a coronavirus scam, they will most likely contain dangerous links.

3. Only order goods from trusted sources.

Ensure you’re only ordering goods from trusted, authentic sources. One way to make sure you do so is to Google your desired retailer and follow the link from the results page instead of clicking on any promotional links in emails. Also, beware of lookalike domains, spelling errors in emails or websites, and any “special offers”, as these are likely fraudulent.

4. Stay informed.

It’s important to stay up-to-date on all major events. In order to stay on top of the news,

go directly to trusted sources like the CDC’s or World Health Organization’s websites for updates and information.