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Google Warns of Ongoing Online Scams

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, so do online scams. Last week, Google warned the public of the ongoing battle against phishing attacks, some often involving fraudsters stealing confidential data as well as tricking those into believing they will receive financial relief.

According to Google security experts, cybercriminals have been quite active since COVID-19 reached the U.S. in mid-March. In April alone, Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) issued more than 1,750 warnings to targeted accounts. While TAG states it has blocked "more than 99.9% of spam, phishing and malware" from reaching users, some phishing attacks and scams will get through.

"Our security systems have detected examples ranging from fake solicitations for charities and NGOs, to messages that try to mimic employer communications to employees working from home, to websites posing as official government pages and public health agencies," a Google blog post states. "Recently, our systems have detected 18 million malware and phishing Gmail messages per day related to COVID-19, in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages."

However, such incidences are also happening elsewhere outside of Google in the U.S. and abroad. The Herald, a Dublin newspaper, recently reported a vendor scheme in which an 18-year-old posed as a legitimate medical ventilator supplier and allegedly stole nearly $40,000 from a company.

—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate

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Thursday, 09 July 2020