Online fraudsters exploit Covid-19 fears


The cybercrime unit of the Hellenic Police (ELAS) has warned the public about a spike in online fraud and fake news regarding the Covid-19 epidemic.

More specifically, it said on Thursday that it has received scores of complaints from the public and numerous briefings from Interpol and Europol concerning cases of cyber fraud and of perpetrators exploiting people’s concerns over the coronavirus to extort money.

Among the methods employed are fake websites, e-commerce platforms etc that pretend to sell high-demand products such as masks, gloves and antiseptics.

Interested buyers are asked to prepay orders by wire transfer to bank accounts, usually overseas.

Phishing scams are also used, which entail perpetrators sending emails purportedly from national or global health authorities containing links or attachments with supposed useful information on the pandemic.

In this way, they try to either steal user login credentials or install malicious software on the recipient’s computer.