Beware! New Gmail email threat is here along with Omicron! Know how to avoid
The fear over Omicron, the new Covid-19 variant, which has quickly spread across the globe, has sparked a new wave of Gmail phishing threats. On one hand, the new variant continues to spread in various countries, and on the other, scammers are using this opportunity to cash in by launching phishing attacks via email with their fake Omicron tests. Individual Protection Solutions (IPS), the UK security firm, warned about the new series of Gmail email phishing attacks. It says these fraudsters offer fake PCR tests for free to UK residents from the National Health Service (NHS) to avoid the current government restrictions.
The fake Gmail email message mentions that new PCR tests will "identify the Omicron variant" and will allow people to travel safely and freely without having to self-isolate themselves. The recipients of the email further urged to click on a link to book their Omicron PCR test without delay. Obviously, there is no such test for the new variant of the coronavirus and the phishing email is just to turn a fraught situation into a cash reward for themselves by getting your personal information as well as bank details.
The Gmail email further asks recipients to click on the link to request the Omicron PCR test. As soon as you click on the link, it will ask you to provide your details such as name, address and bank account number. This scam is described as 'Particularly sinister' due its nature of using the published health emergency as an opportunity to steal your cash.
Why is this scam described as ‘sinister’?
Online fraudsters are using the opportunity of social uncertainty during the Omicron to prey on vulnerable people, who are desperate to book a test in hurry for the Covid-19 before the crowd. People who are most vulnerable to strain are most likely to be the victim of the new sinister email trick as they are desperate to check the strain.
How to avoid the Gmail email phishing attack:
- First of all, the NHS will never contact anyone out of the blue.
- Still if you get such emails, do check the send of the email address. The real NHS email address ends with nhs.uk.
- Do not click on any in-email links
- Never share your personal or financial information.
- Yet, officially there is no such test for the new variant detection test, so do not look over for such information.
- Delete email, if you get it.