Microsoft has released a warning about a new scam playing on the huge public interest in the Covid-19 pandemic. The emails purport to contain a Covid-19 report from the World Health Organisation, and have Excel links to what they claim are statistics but are really a backdoor to opening NetSupport Manager, which is a remote access application (Techspot). And of course once you provide remote access to your computer, it’s as open as it would be if a person were sitting in front of it, logged in. It’s another example of how unscrupulous scammers will sink to any low to ultimately steal from you.
Here again is what to look out for when you find an unexpected email in your inbox (IT Pro):
- Unsolicited: the simple fact that you were not expecting the email is the first clue. You may get emails from time to time from companies you have used in the past but you will know which companies send you emails and you might remember subscribing to them.
- Requests for personal details: legitimate companies will never ask you for any personal details in an email. They have this information already. They might ask you to go to their portal and login but it won’t be via an email.
- Poor spelling and grammar: real companies employ people to check that emails, particularly those sent to multiple people, are correct in their spelling and grammar, and have the correct and professional looking logos etc. Many scam emails originate in non-English speaking countries so the errors may indicate that the text has been translated or was written by someone for whom English is a second language.
- Dodgy Links: if you hover over a link without clicking on it you can see where you would be taken if you did click. Scam emails will quite reliably have links which seem to have zero connection to the company the email claims to be from. Real companies take their website and email names rather seriously.