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Beware of Cyber Scams Related to COVID-19

April 9, 2020

The Blackhawk Information Technology team has some words of warning for all of us in our new remote work environments. Be aware that many bad actors are trying to use the current situation to trick individuals. It is important to remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19, working remotely, as well as the usual attempts that are always present.

Cybercriminals may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick you into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of any social media pleas for donations, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

We encourage everyone to be alert and take the following precautions.

  • Do not click on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
  • Do not click on or accept meeting requests from people you don’t know. There is a large increase in fake WebEx, Zoom, and Skype meeting requests due to so many people working remotely. Look at each one and make sure you know who it’s from and what it's for.  
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.

The Blackhawk Technical College Information Technology team has implemented various technologies to attempt to eliminate these attacks from reaching your Blackhawk inbox, but no preemptive measures are perfect or ultimately as effective as applying your critical eye and skepticism toward each digital message you receive. Please contact the Help Desk (helpdesk@blackhawk.edu or (608) 757-7711) for guidance if you are suspicious of a message you receive. 

Thank you for your increased diligence during these uncertain times.

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