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Protecting against Coronavirus Scams

Information on potential phishing scams and other fraudulent information surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Table of Contents

Defending yourself against COVID-19 Phishing Scams

With the amount of news coverage surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no surprise that cybercriminals are taking advantage with phishing emails and fraudulent web content. The EOTSS Security Team is paying close attention as many organizations are reporting a rise in social engineering, phishing, and other scams.

Tips for Fraud Prevention:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments, even from sources that appear to be legitimate. Malicious actors have been sending phishing e-mails designed to appear as if they are coming from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), healthcare specialists and employers, all with seemingly “urgent” safety messages and health information.
  • Always “mouse” or “hover” over the e-mail senders name to determine the true origin.
  • Never reveal personal or financial information via e-mail. Remember, EOTSS will never ask you for your username or password.
  • Do your homework before making any donations. Be wary of someone asking for “urgent” donations in cash or gift cards. Always verify a charity before making donations. You can visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site for more information.
  • Remember, there is not currently a vaccine available for COVID-19. Any solicitation suggesting they’ve discovered a cure should be deleted and/or ignored.
  • For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit trusted sources such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Messaging Team is available and happy to review e-mails or messages that you are unsure about. Please direct all questions or concerns to the Service Desk.

Sample Phishing Emails

Example of DocuSign Phish
Example of DocuSign Phish
CDC Phishing Example
CDC Phishing Example
Phishing via Text Message
Phishing via Text Message



McCormack Building
1 Ashburton Place, 8th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Date published: March 20, 2020
Image credits:  IANS Research