Utah Department of Public Safety: Here’s how to protect yourself from phishing scams, false information

Local News

UTAH (ABC4 News) — The Utah Department of Public Safety is warning people to fact check information and watch out for spear phishing scams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the following post, the department warned the public about spreading false information about coronavirus. Visit usa.gov/coronavirus for reliable information about the virus.

The department also asked that people watch out for spear phishing scams and provided information about how the public can protect themselves.

According to the department, Utah is experiencing a significant increase in these types of scams. A spear phishing scam is when a scammer impersonates a friend, family member, or acquaintance and asks for money, often in the form of gift cards. The goal is to gain your personal information or money.

These scams often occur over email or text message and are especially effective right now because people are home more often and aware that others are in serious financial need, according to the department.

They also said that anyone requesting a gift card, is a scammer. According to the department, the following are ways that people can protect themselves from spear phishing scams:

  • Directly contact the sender to check if they sent the email or text.
  • Look for grammatical mistakes or something off about the message- these can be signs of a scam
  • Make sure that the “from” email address is full and does not only include the name of the sender.
  • Check with your company about security policies- they often won’t ask you to relay sensitive information through email.
  • Contact your company’s technology department about what to do with suspicious emails.
  • Be careful while teleworking, as company laptops and smart phones can be vulnerable to attacks.

Read the full release here.

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