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Governments across the globe have created restrictions to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus. These regulations change often and vary by country, region, and city. So knowing exactly what is expected of you can be a challenge. It’s no surprise that the bad guys are taking advantage of this confusion!
Cybercriminals are using text messaging, or short message service (SMS), to pose as a government agency. The message says you have been seen leaving your home multiple times and as a result you are being fined. They urge you to click on their official-looking link to pay this “fine” online. If you click the link, you’ll be taken to a payment page where you can give your credit card details directly to the bad guys!
This tactic is known as “Smishing” (SMS Phishing). Smishing can be even more convincing than email phishing because criminals know how to spoof their phone number to appear as though they’re calling from an official source. Be careful!
Here’s how to stay safe from this smishing attack:
- Think before you click. The bad guys want to get under your skin. Not only does this message accuse you of ignoring regulations, but it also claims you have to pay a fine! Don’t give in to this tactic.
- Never trust a link in an email or text message that you were not expecting. Instead of clicking the unexpected link, open your browser and type in the official URL of the website you wish to visit.
- Stay informed during this confusing time by following local news, government websites, and other trusted sources.
Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.
The KnowBe4 Security Team