1st March, 2020
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that fraudsters are taking advantage of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to steal money or sensitive information.
Their strategy includes posing as WHO representatives to solicit money or information from unsuspecting members of the public, the UN agency said on its website.
It listed suspicious behaviours to include asking for login information and sending unsolicited email attachments.
The WHO also warned against links that direct people to websites other than www.who.int, and requests for direct donations to emergency response plans or funds.
While dissociating itself from such acts, the agency warned that scams could come in form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages and even fax messages.
“If you are contacted by a person or organisation that appears to be from WHO, verify their authenticity before responding,” it said.
Director-General of the organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, also tweeted some tips on how to guard against scam and fake news around COVID-19 on social media.
Ghebreyesus urged members of the public to verify information they receive about the virus on social media with official sources such as the WHO.
The following are some of the anti-COVID-19 fraud tips shared by the agency:
The World Health Organisation will:
*never ask you to login to view safety information
*never email attachments you didn’t ask for
*never ask you to visit a link outside of www.who.int
*never charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference, or reserve a hotel
*never conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates or funding through email
*never ask you to donate directly to emergency response plans or funding appeals.
Beware that criminals use email, websites, phone calls, text messages, and even fax messages for their scams.
You can verify if communication is legit by contacting WHO directly.