NBC10 Responds

Beware of Possible Coronavirus-Related Scams

Law enforcement and cyber security experts warn of looming threats

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The coronavirus pandemic isn’t only a threat to your health. It could open you up to a scam, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts warn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are telling local police departments to beware of CDC impersonators. The CDC warns schemers may go door-to-door claiming to be from the organization.

Local police joined the federal agency in getting the word out on social media -- including Camden County Police Detective Maria Rivera.

Unfortunately, this is the world we live in,” she told NBC10 Responds. “The CDC has not given approval to anyone to go to anyone's home and request any type of health information or personal information or any of your credentials.”

According to Rivera, if someone comes to your home for this reason, close the door and call police.

Scammers are also hiding behind computer screens.

“Now they’re really doubling down,” cybersecurity expert Mark Ostrowski said.

With more people working from home, Ostrowski is concerned hackers may look for weaknesses in a company’s remote network.

“Change your passwords, lock down your Wi-Fi so that you know which users are connected because that plays a big role,” Ostrowski said.

According to Ostrowski, hackers will likely target areas with larger clusters of coronavirus cases. He warns personal and work mobile devices are also vulnerable.

“People don't often think about, you know, adding security software to the mobile device,” Ostrowski said. “And that's something that's going to have to change.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities is warning of financial scams.

Don’t share your financial information with anyone who calls you unsolicited, the banking regulators said. If someone contacts you with a “limited time offer” and applies pressure tactics, don’t take the bait.

Finally, be cautious of any offer that guarantees a high rate of return with little risk.

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