Google’s new website aims to help you avoid Covid-19 related online scams

The website features information about the common types of online scams related to Covid-19. It also has some tips to avoid such scams.

Follow these tips to avoid Covid-19 online scams
Follow these tips to avoid Covid-19 online scams (AP)

Google has launched a dedicated portal that aims to help users stay safer online. The new portal focuses on the Covid-19 related online scams.

"We want to keep you safe whenever you're online. That's why everything we make is protected with powerful built-in security technologies that help detect and block threats before they ever reach you. Recently, there has been a significant rise in online scams related to COVID-19. We're providing these tips to help you spot and avoid these scams, so you can stay safer online," said Google on its website.

On the website, Google elaborates the common types of scams related to the Covid-19. Some of the top scams are aimed at stealing your personal data, fake offers for goods and services, fraudulent medical offers, fake requests for donations, and fake emails impersonating the authorities.

Google has also shared some easy-to-use tips to avoid such scams.

Some of the top tips include:

1. Look for trusted sources: Google says users should look up information from credible sources, for instance, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)

2. Personal, financial information: Be wary of such emails that ask for your private data and financial details such as bank details or addresses. Such scamsters may also ask you to pay money (bank transfer or virtual currency).

3. Donations: If you want to donate to an NGO or organisation, do it directly on the official websites. Scamsters try to leverage such as goodwill to request for money.

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4. Links: Don't open any link in an email that's coming from a malicious source. To ensure it's a credible source, check for the correct spelling of the official email or any tweaks in the url name.

Google has also asked users to enable two-step verification to keep scamsters at bay.

Google's new portal comes at a time when scams related to Covid-19 have grown as people are turning to digital platforms for communication and collaboration.

 

According to a recent Forcepoint report, there has been a steady rise in the number of malicious websites based on Covid-19.

"Spam emails containing COVID or Coronavirus-themed embedded URLs during January and February 2020 were observed in the tens of thousands per day. Scammers ramped up activity in mid-March as they made adjustments to existing spambots. Over half a million scams per day were blocked by Forcepoint X-Labs from mid-March onwards," observed the report.