Scammers Exploit COVID-19 Omicron Variant In New Phishing Attacks | PCMag

Scammers Exploit COVID-19 Omicron Variant In New Phishing Attacks | PCMag

Watch out for scam emails about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant. 

In the UK, hackers are already starting to exploit the virus by sending out phishing emails about free COVID-19 testing that promises to detect the new variant. In reality, the hackers are trying to trick unsuspecting users into handing over their personal information.

The scam emails pretend to come from the UK’s National Health Service, according to the consumer watchdog group Which?. An example of one email includes the subject line: “Get Your Free Omicron PCR test — Apply now to avoid restrictions.”


(Which!)

The scam email tries to trick the user into believing existing COVID-19 tests can’t detect the new Omicron variant, which is false. The message then asks the user to click on a link to order the new test kits from the NHS. 

To scare the user into complying, the email adds: “People who do not consent or cannot agree to a COVID-19 test and refuse to undergo a swab must be isolated.” 

Users who fall for the trick will be taken to a copycat NHS site that asks for their full name, date of birth, address, mobile phone number, and email address — all information that can be used for identity fraud purposes.


(Which!)

“As well as requesting a payment of £1.24 for ‘delivery’, it even invites you to provide your mother’s maiden name, as many customers use basic security questions to secure their email and bank account,” Which? added.

The scam emails prompted the NHS itself to send out a warning to the public. “Beware of fake NHS emails asking you to order ‘an Omicron PCR test’” the health agency said in a tweet earlier this week. “We never ask for bank details, so please be aware of suspicious emails or text messages.” 

Recommended by Our Editors

Which? also points out the hackers behind the phishing lures dress up the emails with official-looking NHS logos. In addition, the scam emails were sent through an address at “contact-nhs[AT]nhscontact.com.”

For more tips on how to spot COVID-19 scams, check out our guide.

Like What You’re Reading?

Sign up for Security Watch newsletter for our top privacy and security stories delivered right to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.


Thanks for signing up!

Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!

Sign up for other newsletters

Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!

This content was originally published here.

Laat een reactie achter

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd.