New financial tricks revealed with COVID-19
Assoc. Dr. Cevdet Kızıl 

New financial tricks observed in recent days due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) have raised another important question: “is the corona virus just a health threat?”

COVID-19 has sharply increased demand for medical supplies. Fake shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses have started to be identified. There have also been reports of the production and marketing of counterfeit COVID-19 drugs, vaccines and test kits. Even dysfunctional masks can be produced. One of the new financial tricks is phone scams. Fraudsters reach their chosen people by phone and call from the hospital, a relative of the people they call has been diagnosed with coronavirus and demand money for treatment.

As part of another financial scam, criminals identify themselves in emails connected to a national or international health institution, requesting personal information and financial data such as credit cards from the people they send emails to. They also send email attachments containing malware to people of their choice.

In another similar financial scam, fraudsters impersonate well-known firms and organizations, using very close to similarly named firm names and email addresses. At the same time, scammers open various bank accounts in different countries. After performing financial tricks, money illegally obtained by fraudsters is transferred between other bank accounts located in different countries.

There are also fraudsters who claim that they work depending on a number of medical institutions by organizing fake ID and official uniforms, and that they want to enter the homes of people for these purposes and conduct tests or spraying. Some of the scammers charge for fake testing and spraying, while others are even able to carry out house robberies.

In addition, distance education was introduced in schools as it is known. Even many meetings, seminars and conferences are organized remotely. But, according to a claim often voiced recently, some distance learning software on the market is malware. It is argued that this software accesses the private information of individuals and institutions by storing data. It is stated that this data was improperly processed, shared, marketed and sold.

At the same time, fraudsters use the names of some listed companies to indicate that these businesses ' newly developed products and services work in blocking, detecting and improving COVID-19. Crooks who adopt an aggressive marketing strategy using social media, email, forum and pop-up advertising lie that the market values and stock prices of the companies listed on the stock market will increase significantly in the very near future. Research reports from these firms are also shared and even given the price at which stock prices will reach in the near future.

Another method is to motivate fraudsters to install a number of mobile phone applications related to COVID-19. Once the specified apps are installed, users ' personal information and credit card data are seized by fraudsters.

However, fraudsters identify themselves as civil servants or IRS employees and call individuals by phone. In this phone call, the scammers say individuals are entitled to a tax pardon, tax deduction or incentive.

Against highlighted financial cheats, first, it is necessary to ensure that firms, shops, websites, social media accounts and email addresses related to medical materials are not fake. In addition, medicines, vaccines, test kits and protective masks should be consulted by the Ministry of health, specialist doctors and medical personnel.

For fake phones from fraudsters related to COVID-19, you should definitely check the formality and accuracy of the relevant phone numbers. Personal information, such as credit card data, should never be shared with third parties face-to-face, by phone, or by email. Attachments of emails that are not sure of their accuracy should not be opened or uploaded. Company names, website addresses and e-mail addresses should also be evaluated whether they are copies or similar names.

Finally, caution should be exercised regarding distance learning, meeting, seminar and conference software used. It should be noted that free software can be more dangerous. Anti-virus software must be kept against threatening emails, pop-up ads, and mobile phone applications. Fraudsters who identify themselves as civil servants and say they are entitled to a tax pardon, tax deduction or incentive should not be trusted. Financial threats and tricks should also be prevented by the public administration by various methods, the public should be informed and informed.


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