Scammers use coronavirus to steal personal information

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Internet and phone scammers have a new ally: coronavirus.

Scammers pretend to be the World Health Organization to get victims to click on malicious links. (Storyblocks)

Alaska State Troopers are urging Alaskans to beware of emails circulating which claim to be from the World Health Organization, providing a link to safety measures against coronavirus. These are a form of phishing scam.

According to Tim DeSpain, Information Officer with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, “The State of Alaska was made aware that these scams have been going around just within the last couple of weeks.”

DeSpain said, “There’s people that are always looking to take advantage of citizens.”

AST also clarifies that the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services will not ask for an individual’s financial information in regards to testing for coronavirus. The official site which the DHSS uses for coronavirus information is coronavirus.alaska .gov.

“Usually the person on the phone. If they’re a scammer, they’re usually more pushy, more aggressive, more insistent in their calls and in their tone. So that’s definitely an indicator,” DeSpain said.

The AST Facebook page urges citizens to "exercise greater care when opening email attachments, links in emails, or phone calls related to the Coronavirus that are not from official sources."

If you believe that you have been scammed, DeSpain says that you should contact your local police department or the Alaska State Troopers.

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