Beware: Cyber Criminals Are Using COVID-19 Fears to Pull Scams

Randy Sukow


As a large portion of the nation’s workforce remains at home and laboring as efficiently as they’re able over the internet, online crooks are finding ways to take advantage of the situation. NRTC Managed Services this week is sending a warning to its members to watch out for the scams.

“These are trying times, and businesses and consumers are relying on you for essential internet service,” the group said in its email message. “While it is important to remain productive as we shift to [work from home], it is equally important to ensure we are vigilant with our cybersecurity practices.”

Here are some of threats that are landing in email inboxes and showing up on social media sites:

  • Links to fake coronavirus-related websites loaded with malware. Some malicious domains include fake versions of the Johns Hopkins coronavirus map.
  • Phishing emails with false offers for medical supplies, such as protective masks.
  • Social media with promises of vaccines that don’t exist and links to more malicious sites.
  • There has also been an uptick in ransomware and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

The Managed Services Team suggested several things NRTC members can do to protect their employees and their own networks.

  • Require employees at home to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the company’s network. Be sure the VPN is patched and updated.
  • Consider multi-factor authentication, especially for executives.
  • Regularly analyze network traffic to detect possible DDoS attacks. Have a DDoS mitigation solution in place.
  • Make sure endpoint protection is in place for computers and servers.
  • Remind staff of cybersecurity best practices.
    • Only access secured networks; avoid public Wi-Fi.
    • Be wary of unsolicited emails and unknown senders, especially those with links and attachments.
    • Use strong, unique passwords and avoid sharing sensitive data like account logins and financial info via email and chat.

NRTC Managed Solutions offers our members several cybersecurity solutions and is happy to be of assistance. Members can inquire at

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