Fraudsters are working overtime to take advantage of health and financial worries caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A new research has revealed that cybercriminals are likely to steal over $2 billion in 2020. With the continuation of record-high scam reports, Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, said, “We’re providing support to the Cybercrime Support Network to help people identify scams before they fall victim to them through a new program called Scam Spotter, which simplifies expert advice with three golden rules.”
According to Scam Spotter program, the below given three golden rules “must be followed when you receive a suspicious phone call or message to figure out if it’s a scam:
- Slow it down:
Are they telling you it is urgent? Take your time and ask questions to avoid being rushed into a bad situation.
- Spot check:
Are they claiming to be from a specific institution? Do your own research to double check the details you’re getting.
- Stop! Don’t send:
Are they asking you to go to the store and get gift cards? If you think a payment feels fishy, it probably is.”
Google further added that scammers have exploited the COVID-19 pandemic with alarming speed, taking advantage of fear and uncertainty. Nearly $40-million worth fraud losses have been reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are related to a myriad of COVID-19 complaints. People are falling victim to new stories related to invented stimulus packages, phoney charities, romantic interests who now have an uncle in the ICU, a Google blog post revealed.
A recent blog post by Google highlighted a research that notified people who are in age bracket of 25-40 years are most likely to be scammed. However, the research shows it’s seniors who stand to lose the most, with their median losses more than double the average.
“As one of the architects of the Internet and an executive sponsor of the “Greyglers,” an internal group that promotes awareness of age diversity and issues related to age, I feel obligated to try to help my fellow Americans stay safe. It will take a cross-generational effort. Please consider sharing ScamSpotter.org the next time you talk to the seniors in your life. Maybe you can both take the quiz and compare your scores, too,” added Vint Cerf.
Google concluded by stating that it is highly important that people learn how to spot the bad actors so that they can spend their time focusing on those moments that matter.
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