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The pandemic is not stopping the scammers

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Although we are currently in lockdown and daily life has slowed down, some things are carrying on as normal. Scams such as phishing and cyber fraud are actually increasing during this period.

Take part in the survey Febelfin has launched about these activities. It exists in French and in Dutch.

Coronavirus phishing

Phishing is a technique used by scammers who claim to be a bank, for example, just for the purpose of collecting your personal data. In 2019, this technique was already on the rise: fraud totalled nearly 2 million euros for the second quarter of 2019.

Cybercriminals often use a sense of fear and urgency to achieve their goals. The COVID-19 pandemic is conducive to provoke these emotions. Be extra vigilant when you get an e-mail apparently from health agencies with a link. It might direct you to a fraudulent website which will collect your data. If you are carrying out internet searches on COVID-19, just be aware that not all websites are secure. The same goes for e-mails from your bank which ask you to submit your details. Banks will never ask you to do this.

Criminals seem also to be taking advantage of the fact that people are working from home. They are targeting file-sharing websites such as OneDrive. The criminals aim to gain access to a company's sensitive information, which can be later on used for blackmail .

Virtual gatherings are actually real threats

We are increasingly using video conferencing applications such as Skype and Zoom to work with our colleagues and stay in touch with family and friends. Particularly Zoom has gained in popularity in recent weeks. Cybercriminals are here too. The number of websites with domain names including "zoom" or "googleclassroom" have increased considerably. While you think you are on the right website, a hacker is collecting your data behind the scenes. Or even sending a virus to your computer.

Even if you use the real Zoom application, you have to know that it has been singled out for its lack of security when it comes to user privacy. Several faults have been uncovered, including an incomplete chat encryption. However, the company has promised to fix this fault.

Obviously, all of this does not mean that you have to stop communicating with your nearest and dearest. Just be vigilant and make sure to take every precaution.

This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation, nor a financial analysis. Nothing in this article may be construed as information with a contractual value of any sort whatsoever. This article is intended for information only and does not constitute in any way a commercialization of financial products. Keytrade Bank cannot be held liable for any decision made based on the information contained in this article, nor for its use by third parties. Every investment entails risks such as a possible loss of capital. Before investing in financial instruments, please inform yourself properly and read carefully the document "Overview of the principal characteristics and risks of financial instruments" that you can find in the Document centre.


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