ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — With Monkeypox cases on the rise, we can expect to see an increase in phishing and phone call scams. Adam Levin is founder of CyberScout, a data protection Company, “One thing is for sure, hackers and scammers never miss an opportunity to use an international health crisis, a war or anything that would capture the imagination of the public so they kind of latch onto that.”
Levin says phishing scams increased 40 to 50,000% during COVID and we should be prepared for similar scams as Monkeypox cases increase. “They will send you something that looks very official, it will be on topic, unlike the old days where you used to have misspellings, and typographical errors, they’re getting much better at it. You might get a text from them; you might get a phone call from them.,” said Levin.
In fact, there’s already been a scenario where this happened. Levin says an email was sent to employees in a company disguised as concern about the Monkeypox disease and suggested they click on a link to learn more.
Some tell-tale signs of scams are when emails contain a subject line titled “URGENT” or “YOUR TEST RESULTS.” Scammers could be fishing for your user ID or passcode to log into company database systems. Clicking on links can lead to malware, and when it comes to a corporate environment, Levin says, “You could be talking about ransomware which is a very dangerous problem for a lot of companies. I mean if not handled correctly it could be an extinction level event.”
Before you do anything, pause, don’t do anything impulsive, check the email address and see where it’s coming from. “Always questions, and never do anything without verifying it even if it means that you get the information from them and then independently determine the correct phone number or email address of the agency that’s supposedly emailed you,” said Levin.