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LA County Alerts Public About Increasing COVID-19 Scams, Warns of Fraudulent Websites, Emails and Donation Requests
Los Angeles, CA (Tues., March 24, 2020)-- Los Angeles County residents are reminded of several fraud schemes designed to prey on the vulnerable in the midst of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Reports of malicious websites, email schemes, and suspicious links have come to the attention of law enforcement and public officials.
“Malicious actors can prey upon those that are distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and use it to their advantage,” stated Los Angeles County Chief Information Officer William Kehoe. “The public needs to be mindful and careful, and avoid websites, phishing emails, and scams that engage people through false information about the health crisis, and steal personal user information and data. By clicking on fraudulent weblinks, hackers can deliver malware and then gain access to passwords, browsing information, credit card numbers, and other personal information. We all need to stay vigilant.”
Currently, there are several Coronavirus tracking and mapping sites that are actually malware websites. Instead of clicking on these links, cybersecurity experts advise that website users should instead hover over the link to verify the uniform resource locator (URL) before moving forward. Online hackers may also send users emails from fraudulent accounts impersonating official websites and doctors, or offering medical supplies and services.
A trusted COVID-19 mapping resource is the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Global Map, which can be found at coronavirus.jhu.edu. Additionally, there are several websites the County of Los Angeles recommends for accurate, up-to-date information on COVID-19. The following is a list of sites:
The following is a list of safety tips the public can follow: