Google says millions of users are being sent coronavirus-related scams every day.
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In a new update, the company says last week saw an average of 18 million scams daily: “During the last week, we saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19. This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.”
“Bad actors are creating new attacks and scams every day that attempt to take advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic,” the company continued. Google says most attacks use fear mongering or financial incentives to elicit responses from users.
Independent security researcher Scott Helme explained how these attacks work to BBC: “Phishing attacks always share the common trait of inciting or depending on an emotion that causes us to act more hastily or think less about our actions at that moment in time. The coronavirus pandemic is a highly emotional topic right now and cyber-criminals clearly know this. They’re hoping that the typical person might be more inclined to click through links or follow bad instructions if they use this lure.”
Google says 99.9% of these emails are stopped before they reach user inboxes, but be extra diligent during these trying times.