Beware of online scams during COVID-19 lockdown, Philippines urges public


Posted at Mar 19 2020 10:50 AM

Beware of online scams during COVID-19 lockdown, Philippines urges public 1
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture. Filipino authorities urged citizens to stay safe online, with half the population on quarantine for a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Kacper Pempel, Reuters/file

MANILA -- The Department of Information and Communications Technology on Thursday asked Filipinos to be mindful of their safety online, as the COVID-19 lockdown requires them to stay at home for at least a month.

Here is the full text from the DICT, which is in charge of the Philippines' communication infrastructure:

1. Be wary of unverified and unproven COVID-19 websites or applications that require you to give your personal data. 

These websites and applications might be used by online scammers or might contain viruses, malware, ransomware and other cyber threat intrusions. Cybercriminals will do anything to obtain personal information, especially your financial and banking details. These could come disguised as solicitations or surveys about COVID-19, among others. 

Furthermore, unproven apps might give a false sense of security or inaccurately expose you to risk. Keep your data safe and use only trusted websites and applications

2. Do not open messages or attachments from unknown sources.

Be wary of emails/messages especially those concerning COVID-19. Take time to review the authenticity of the email or message, and do not click on the links or attachments.

3. Be wary of fake news. Review and confirm information/sources.

Stay tuned in to trusted government and news sites or social media platforms for real and updated information on COVID-19, and do not share unverified information about the situation as not to spread fake news that could incite more panic among the people.

If you have time to spare, help your friends by verifying the information or sources they share. Contact them directly to clarify whatever falsehood they shared and share with them verified facts about the COVID-19.