Latest Developments in Scams Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers are taking advantage of people's fears for blackmail purposes. Scammers specifically extort people into sending money in Bitcoin, the untraceable decentralized cryptocurrency on the web.
Internet users are receiving emails asking for $4,000 in bitcoin with threats of infecting family members if they choose not to comply. Many of the emails contain verified information regarding the current development of the virus, which makes these extortions effective in generating dirty money for scammers and increasing panic.
IT security company Sophos recently stated that scammers go to extreme lengths, even impersonating the World Health Organization and soliciting bitcoin “donations.” As Sophos Principal Research Scientist Chester Wisniewski put it, “First, Sophos noticed fraudsters using the World Health Organization (WHO) as a lure. After that, many malware gangs started disguising their malicious goods as COVID-19 related documents. Today, we see online attackers impersonating WHO charities, this time the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, “What is even more disturbing is that scammers are trying to hack computers with malware via COVID-19 related documents. The pandemic has pushed COVID-19 research results to the fore, and of course scammers have taken advantage of this boom.