Despite the worsening global crisis and alarming death tolls due to the novel coronavirus, it appears clear that some people don’t know how to give a little care. The world calls for cooperation and compassion and yet here are some scammers who would do everything to steal from others.
As reported by Sophos, a cybersecurity firm, they have discovered online perpetrators that are using the World Health Organization (WHO) as a front for their illegal activities. Notably, these scammers are asking people to donate Bitcoin (BTC) with the pretense that the funds would go to COVID-19 patients.
Two days after the novel coronavirus had been classified as a pandemic, WHO launched its Solidarity Response Fund (SRF) for COVID-19 victims with assistance from the UN Foundation. Leading companies such as Google and Facebook had been quick to roll out their support for the program. However, it turned out that scammers wouldn’t allow themselves to be left out of the game as well.
The SRF program encouraged people to donate money via the official website. However, one of Sophos’ cybersecurity experts, Chester Wisniewski, revealed the new style of stealing via a tweet last March 19. He posted screenshots of the email being sent by the impersonators to potential victims. Notably, in the fake email, potential victims are not being directed to the organization’s official website. Instead, the scammers have provided a Bitcoin address where donors can send funds directly. According to the explorer of Blockchain.com, the address, [email protected] had been found empty.
Increasing cases of crypto-related scams amidst the outbreak of coronavirus
As reported by Coinmod last week, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority had released an official warning about the alarming occurrences of coronavirus-related scams that heavily target the cryptocurrency industry. The agency noted that scams could come in many forms, sophisticated, and convincible. Notably, people must be vigilant against deals that look too good to be true, especially those that are related to pension transfers, insurance policies and other investment opportunities that promise high returns.
As of press time, the World Health Organization is yet to clarify as to whether it accepts donations in cryptocurrencies or not.