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UN health agency warns against coronavirus COVID-19 criminal scams

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that criminals are taking advantage of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, to steal money or sensitive information.

Criminal elements, says the UN health agency, are posing as WHO representatives, and recommends that, if anyone is contacting by a person or organization claiming to be from the Organization, they should take steps to verify their authenticity.

Examples of suspicious behaviour include asking for login information, sending unasked-for email attachments, directing people to a website other than, and asking for direct donations to emergency response plans or funding appeals.

WHO firmly states that it never does any of these things, and warns that scams can come in the form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages, and even fax messages.

Malicious emails sent by scammers are known as “phishing” emails. They appear to come from the WHO, and ask for sensitive information, such as user names and passwords, ask users to click on suspicious links, and open malicious attachments. Following these instructions allows criminals to install software that can give them access to, or damage, computers.

How to prevent phishing (official WHO advice):

  1. Verify the sender by checking their email address,

  2. Check the link before you click,

  3. Be careful when providing personal information, 

  4. Do not rush or feel under pressure,

  5. If you gave sensitive information, don’t panic,  

  6. If you see a scam, report it.

A good place for Organizations to start thinking is to implement DMARC immediately. We can help set it up for you. Call us today!


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