Things to Watch For

Portions provided by Penny Crosman, American Banker

As is the case every time there's a hot topic in the news, scammers follow those trends and develop new ways of taking advantage of that situation to install malware or steal credentials for profit. The coronavirus is no different. According to Steven Silbertsein, CEO of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, "Phishing scams are ever-present and pervasive. Phishers are always looking for topical subjects that will captivate a victim's attention... phishing campaigns using COVID-19 as a lure in the subject line have been observed since January." The text in these emails claim news about the infections or the virus itself and try to get the reader to click through to learn more; or a common one now is to get them to click on a coronavirus map to view the number infected in their area. "We have observed information stealers, banking Trojans, ransomware and remote access Trojans," states Silberstein.

The best protection, as is always the case, is to type the URL directly into a web browser to be sure you're on the site you want. If you're unsure if something is legitimate, check with the person who sent you the email to be sure it came from them, or ask your IT department to review it before click on anything.

"The public should not click on the unknown, especially not password reset requests," cautions Silberstein. He also encourages customers to set up account alerts and notify their bank if they see any suspicious activity.

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