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Health

APP
March 2, 2020

Criminals taking advantage of coronavirus to steal information, warns WHO

Health

APP
Mon, Mar 02, 2020
AFP Photo/NICOLAS ASFOURI

As the coronavirus spreads panic around the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has  warned people that criminals are using scams to steal money and sensitive information. 

Criminal elements are posing as WHO representatives, the agency said, adding that if anyone is contacting by a person or organization claiming to be from the WHO, they should take steps to verify their authenticity.

Examples of suspicious behaviour included asking for login information, sending unasked-for email attachments, directing people to a Website other than www.who.int, and asking for direct donations to emergency response plans or funding appeals.

WHO said it never does any of these things, and warns that scams can come in the form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages, and even fax messages.

Malicious emails sent by scammers are known as “phishing” emails. They appear to come from the WHO, and ask for sensitive information, such as user names and passwords, ask users to click on suspicious links, and open malicious attachments. Following these instructions allows criminals to install software that can give them access to, or damage, computers.

As many social media accounts share information about COVID-19, the head of WHO, Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus, called on the public to seek official sources (such as the WHO Website) to find out how to protect oneself, loved ones and the local community.

The WHO said it’s Website has comprehensive, regularly updated and authoritative expert information on the virus.