Beware of COVID-19 Phishing Scams, says OIT


Phishing Web

Not only has the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak caused a major global disruption, it has also created an opportunity for online scammers.

The Office of Information Technologies (OIT) Information Security team reminds you that scammers are using phishing emails and social engineering to take advantage of this disruption. Email scams relating to COVID-19 may try to trick you by:

  • Selling a cure for COVID-19. At this time, there is no cure.
  • Selling masks, sanitizing products or other medical supplies to protect against COVID-19.
  • Offering apps related to COVID-19 (Android only) and virus tracker apps. Do not install and use apps to get reliable information—use legitimate news sources. Apple is not allowing any apps related to COVID-19 in the App Store.
  • Impersonating legitimate organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (, World Health Organization (, National Institutes of Health (, etc. and asking for your support.
  • Asking you to click on a link that takes you to a website that looks similar to a legitimate website. (To verify, open a browser and type the URL in the browser window.)
  • Requesting your support for a COVID-19 charity. If you want to donate to charity, go directly to the organization’s website for additional information.

The OIT Information Security team recommends that you do not respond to messages, open attachments, or click on links contained in unsolicited email messages. If you cannot verify that the email is legitimate from the person or organization who sent the message, just delete it.

Scam tactics are increasingly sophisticated and change rapidly. Always watch your email carefully as scammers will use any means possible to try to obtain your email, password and other personal information.

For additional information on phishing emails and scams, go to:

If you have any questions about COVID-19 email scams or any other suspicious messages, contact the OIT Help Desk at 574-631-8111 or or chat online at:

Originally published by Lenette Votava at on March 11, 2020.