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Scammers send phishing emails based on the Omicron variant of COVID-19

Scammers use the panic about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 to spread phishing emails. (Image: Lifewire)
Scammers use the panic about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 to spread phishing emails. (Image: Lifewire)
Scammers are distributing phishing emails and using fake websites in an attempt to commit identity fraud. In these messages, hackers impersonate UK agencies and falsely claim to offer new Omicron PCR tests for free. These scammers also utilise phone calls and texts in order to capitalise on the anxiety surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Bad actors are using the confusion about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 to send phishing emails to snatch the personal data and bank information of unsuspecting victims. According to Which? Conversation, scammers are distributing fake emails masquerading as alerts from the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and offer fake Omicron PCR tests to circumvent restrictions. Which? Conversation has alerted the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to scam websites, emails, texts and phone calls.

These fake emails are deceptive and purport that the Omicron variant must be detected by using new test kits. In the email, scammers link a fake copy of the NHS website that requests the user’s identity information, which can be used for identity fraud. Furthermore, the website asks for a payment of £1.24 as well as the user’s mother’s maiden name, which is a common security question answer in emails and bank accounts.

To combat phishing attacks, people should be cautious of clicking links in suspicious emails. Also, people should notify the NCSC about fake websites and phishing emails. It is also recommended that people set up two-factor authentication and implement identity fraud protection.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 12 > Scammers send phishing emails based on the Omicron variant of COVID-19
Aleem Ali, 2021-12- 6 (Update: 2021-12- 6)