“Phishing” Scams During Pandemic On The Rise

INDIANAPOLIS — Scammers trying to rip Hoosiers off during the coronavirus pandemic are sending phony emails that appear to come from trusted sources. This practice is called “phishing,” according to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.

Hill said two recent examples of phishing scams include:

  1. An email that appeared to come from Amazon
  2. A message to church members that appeared to come from their pastor

The fake Amazon email tried to convince the recipient into providing personal financial information.

The fake pastor email, on the other hand, contained malware that infected the computers of people who clicked on the prompts within the email.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill

“Those who would use the current perilous circumstances as an opportunity to prey upon others are manifesting a particular kind of wickedness,” Attorney General Hill said. “We all would like to apprehend such criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. In the meantime, though, we need to do our best to help would-be victims avoid falling into their traps.”

Hill offered these tips to help you avoid phishing scams during the coronavirus pandemic:

– Carefully inspect the email addresses in all messages landing in your inbox.

– Treat with caution any emails or texts with subject lines or information about the coronavirus.

– Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.

– Use trusted, legitimate government websites to obtain up-to-date information.

– Don’t reveal personal or financial information via email or text message.

– Verify the authenticity of a charity before donating money.

If you believe you’ve encountered a scam, file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/.