The current business climate is leaving many businesses to take operations and planning day by day. The influx of change and on-the-fly management is leaving many business owners vulnerable to scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, some cybercriminals see a horrifying virus as an opportunity to exploit hard-working people. That’s why it’s crucial you take the steps to ensure you are protecting your business from these Coronavirus scams.

Coronavirus Business Scams You Need to Know

The work of cybercrime and phishing scams aren’t new to businesses. For a long time, deceptive financial practices have posed a threat to businesses small and large. Now, with more businesses learning new practices for economic and managerial responsibilities, an overall unfamiliarity with the “new normal” can leave you susceptible. That’s why you should be aware of these ways criminals are attempting to gain access to your information and data. 

Data Breaches During Work From Home

While your business internet plan may include things like anti-virus protection and enhanced firewall security, your home internet might not. That can leave your confidential work-related files and data vulnerable while you are working from home. Not to mention, increased access to work servers from home internet connections can lead hackers right to your most private files. Be sure to review what internet connection you and your employees are using while out of the office right now. 

Public Health Scams

If you’re patiently awaiting the go-ahead from your local public health organization to reopen at some capacity, then you’re likely anxious to get an email or phone call about the process. This anticipation can lead to a swifter willingness to share information, even if you don’t confirm to whom you are actually talking. 

Many businesses reported getting phone calls from phony public health district representatives about needing tax information for records or reopening procedures. Unfortunately, that means some businesses gave things like tax IDs or social security numbers to people with ill intentions. As with any request for sensitive information like this, take the necessary steps to ensure you’re providing the right people with this information.

Government Check Inquiries from Cybercriminals

From the Paycheck Protection Program to an expansion of small business loans, many businesses are seeking financial resources to help them through these tough times. As you seek out resources for these loans and economic relief resources, be sure to only visit and provide information to official sources. As a good rule of thumb, you should only be seeking resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration. This site will have referral links to state resources as well, making it easy to access more localized funding efforts as well. 

Supply Scams

Particularly with the obtaining of PPE equipment and other sanitation products, many businesses are running into scams with fake suppliers. Most businesses have a connection one way or another to a company that reorganized to provide these supplies. That said, some still seek out places to buy masks, sanitizer, or other health-related precautions and end up giving purchasing information and other sensitive info to cybercriminals. 

The ability to discern scam suppliers from official sellers can be tough. One thing that often helps is to check with your local public health district to review if they have suppliers they can recommend. Likewise, speaking to fellow business owners or colleagues in your industry can help to narrow down a real seller. 

Scams Can Ruin a Business, So Keep Yourself Protected

The process of retrieving information or money from a cybercrime scam can take a long time. Simply put, the last thing your business needs right now is a lengthy ordeal involving stolen funds or information. Make sure to protect yourself from these Coronavirus scams and protect the information of your employees.

Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing.
Scams stock photo by ozrimoz/Shutterstock