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April 6, 2020

Protect Yourself from Online Coronavirus Scams

Tips to keep your information and finances secure during the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus disrupts businesses, schools, and routines, scammers may try to take advantage of fears about the virus to steal your personal information. There are steps you can take to protect your health, finances, and personal information from those who try to exploit the uncertainty surrounding the crisis.

Protect your devices while working from home.

As many people are working remotely, now is the time to make sure your computer and mobile phone’s software is up to date. Check your operating system, programs, apps, and security software for any available updates as many include cyber-security upgrades. For more help, contact a representative from your company’s IT department or your internet provider.

Watch out for online scams.

Many fraudsters are capitalizing on fear and confusion with phishing emails and text messages. Attackers pose as authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) and offer information about the virus in order to trick victims into downloading malicious software or sharing their login credentials.

  • Be skeptical of URLs and emails with multiple misspelled words or the use of incorrect domains in their website name.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. When in doubt, copy and paste links directly into your internet browser rather than clicking on them directly.
  • Never download anything from an unfamiliar person or website—it could containt a virus or malicious file.
  • Check the URL of the website you’re using to make sure it’s secure. If it starts with https rather than http, it’s using a secure connection.
  • Be skeptical of cures, information, or offers from unknown people that require a download or ask for personal information.

Stay informed.

The FTC has developed a site to keep you informed about coronavirus-related scams and give you additional information to help you protect yourself. If you suspect you’ve become the victim of a scam, contact us and your credit card company right away.

We understand that the current situation may cause financial uncertainty and fear for many. We at Citizens First Bank are here for you in every situation. We’re taking the coronavirus crisis seriously and will continue to take appropriate measures to help protect our customers’ health, minimize disruption to our day-to-day operations, and keep you and your financial information secure.