Saturday, March 7, 2020

Covid-19 Scams

I have said from the onset that we shouldn’t overreact to Covid-19. But the news that is coming out seems to paint a grim picture. 

Yet I still hold on to the firm belief that there is no reason to panic. My view is that we should keep things in their proper perspective. Notwithstanding, we should practice good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene. And we should continue with our daily lives. 

Unless we decide we want to become hermits. 

Certainly, the Covid-19 pathogen is breeding anxiety which in turn, creates a climate of fear that is mostly irrational. This provides fertile ground for unscrupulous people to exploit the situation. 

I read in The Independent yesterday that victims of coronavirus-related scams have lost close to £1 million in February alone, according to officials, amid a rise in reported cases of fraud throughout the UK. 

One business owner reportedly was swindled £15,000 after buying a bulk load of protective face masks that were never delivered. 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau had documented a total of 21 cases last month. The figure includes 10 scams where victims tried to buy protective masks from fraudulent websites found on the Internet. 

The remaining 11 cases include payment diversion frauds, a romance fraud – one scammer claimed to need money to fund their hospital treatment for coronavirus – and ticket fraud, where non-existent cheap flights were offered. 

Other reports involved coronavirus-themed phishing emails designed to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive information. 

A common tactic used by scammers is to send messages purporting to be from research groups linked with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to be able to provide a list of people infected with Covid-19, which links to a malicious website, or asks the victim to make a payment in Bitcoin. 

One should expect these scams to multiply as the virus persists in spreading far and wide across the globe. 

The latest situation pertaining to those who have been infected, who died and who have recovered, according to 

As at today, Malaysia reported 93 cases, of which 75 were Malaysians, 15 Chinese nationals and one each from the United States, Japan and Italy. 

Yesterday’s news report from The Edge Markets mentioned that 23 of the cases have fully recovered.

And in case you're interested to know, China's active cases remained at just 22,177. It does look as if China has stabilized.

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