Quarantine Shoppers are a Scammer’s Dream

Quarantine Shoppers are a Scammer’s Dream

Staying in quarantine is the best way to prevent any further spread of the Covid19 pandemic. But, while we are safe at home from the virus, other dangers lurk from the shadows of the internet. Scammers, hackers, and other shady people are planning to use this quarantine situation to line their own pockets.

It is more than probable that our nerves will be on edge these next few weeks, and that might force us to forsake some common sense. Sacrificing our cybersecurity for convenience is always a bad idea, and quarantine is just the type of situation when such a thing happens.

As always, there are two essential parts when it comes to your cybersecurity: internal and external. Externally you will need a premium VPN such as Le VPN that can mask your device’s IP address and use military-grade encryption to protect you from snoopers.

And on an internal level, you will need to keep your morale high and avoid any scams and viruses. Be very doubtful about any new ‘deals’ that are urgent and can be delivered to your home at a remarkable price. With transportation being hindered as it is, this will definitely be a scam.

Fear Leads to Suffering

Quarantine Shoppers are a Scammer's Dream. | Le VPN

Although the jury is still out on the impact Covid19 will have on both health and society, fear and panic are always a bad idea. A quarter of the US is obese, and three quarters are overweight, our chance of starving is slim to none. Also, a bidet is a much better option than toilet paper.

Fear and stress will make us make mistakes and impair our judgment. We will tend to believe all sorts of misinformation and might even put ourselves in actual bodily danger.

Because of that, you need to stay safe, and to keep feeling safe. A virus is a reason to take precautions, not to worry. You should enable VPN for multiple devices, scrub any sensitive information from devices you use for work, and arm yourself with patience.

Shortages and Price Gauging

Some stores in the US and Europe have been hit by a sudden urge of people to horde supplies, creating temporary shortages. But that will last only until the next delivery. Additionally, Amazon and eBay have banned people who tried to use their platform to make a quick buck on people’s fear.

But there are still scammers out there. Social media marketplaces are especially susceptible to such behavior, as it is hard to check who the person behind the screen is. And there is little that can save you once you have made the transaction.

There are now even scams that focus on mobile users. You will need to enforce mobile apps security and only download your programs through tested marketplaces.

The best thing to do is to assess what you need calmly and if there is even a reason to stock up on something. Hygiene products will probably be much pricier now than they were just a week ago, but if you are staying indoors, you won’t need any more than you usually spend.

No Legal Action

For most online scams, there is no viable legal action to recover your costs. Large platforms will refund if something didn’t come as described, but won’t supplement the price increase, even if it is deemed to be in bad faith.

And as for doggy websites and random people on Craigslist, there isn’t even that. If you get scammed, you will probably need to take the loss and carry on as if nothing happened.

Snake Oil Salespeople

As far as miracle cures for COVID-19 and amazing immunity boosters go, they are all 100% a scam. Unless discussed with your medical provider, do not take any medication, even if it arrives.

Remember that the virus started in China that is much more open to traditional medicine and cures and that they don’t have a good solution. Karen from East LA won’t have it either. Don’t fall for tricks that bank on your fear for your family’s health.

Doggy Websites

Unlike personal scammers that are only after your money, some websites want to rip you off twice. The main thing these sites are after is your private information, and any cash you might send is just a bonus.

Having a VPN for online shopping is a good idea, even against Amazon and other sales giants. But, when it comes to new and weird websites that are being promoted through Instagram and Facebook, you need to be especially careful.

Don’t ever use the same email and password on these websites as on your social media accounts and only pay with PayPal or similar intermediaries.

You should also take notice of the SSL certificate and only use websites that are registered as legal marketplaces. Even then, scams might happen, but at least you will be secured when browsing.

Data Theft

During this quarantine, all of us will be spending a lot more time online and indoors. This will make our personal information more valuable than ever. In most cases, scammers and hackers won’t even bother with money as many people will see their funds dwindle a bit in the next few weeks.

But information becomes golden in times of crisis, and you should protect yours at all costs. Also, make sure that all of the devices in your home are protected, especially those used by children or the elderly.

Conclusion

The current Covid19 pandemic is a serious issue. But turbulent times are exactly the time when you don’t want to be hasty, fearful, and stressed. You should approach this situation calmly and see what your best options are.

With a premium VPN provider such as Le VPN, you can protect all of the devices in your home. With a bit of mental and digital hygiene, you can avoid the increasing number of people who are willing to exploit this crisis for their personal gain.

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Written by Vuk Mujović @VukMujovic

Vuk Mujović

Vuk Mujović is the founder of MacTíre Consulting, an analyst, data management expert, and a long-term writer on all things business & tech. He authored blogs, articles, and opinion pieces aimed to help both companies and individuals achieve growth without compromising their security. Vuk is a regular guest author to Le VPN Blog since January 2018, where he gives his expert opinion on the topics related to cybersecurity, privacy, online freedom, and personal data protection. He also often shares his tips and best practices in relation to internet security and digital safety of private individuals and small businesses, including some additional applications of using a VPN service.

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