Phishing Emails and COVID-19

During times of panic, such as during a natural disaster or in the current situation with COVID-19, cybercriminals use phishing and other tactics to prey on individuals and attempt to obtain confidential information or install malicious software. Phishing emails continue to be the easiest way for a cybercriminal to trick you into providing credentials, account information or installing malicious software onto your computer. You can protect yourself from cyber fraud by being cautious and careful with emails.

Tips for spotting malicious phishing emails:

  • Do you know the sender? Look at the sender of the email.  Is this someone you know?  Did you sign up to receive a newsletter from them?  If you don’t know the sender or are not expecting an email from them, you should delete the email.Especially while COVID-19 information continues to be released, be particularly cautious of emails that appear to be from legitimate sources, such as the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
  • Are there any links or attachments? Phishing emails will typically contain a hyperlink or attachment. If you receive an email with a hyperlink, hover your mouse over the link to see where the link is pointing.  If the address does not match where the email states it will take you, do not click the link.  If you receive an email with an attachment and were not expecting the email or do not know the sender, do not open the attachment.Clicking links or opening attachments in emails may take you a malicious site or install malicious software – sometimes without you even knowing it.
  • Do not give your account information, credentials or other personal information online. Some phishing emails may take you a login page that could closely resemble a legitimate business page. The email itself may ask you to respond and send your login credentials, account information or other personal information.  NEVER share this information!  Remember, banks and other legitimate businesses will NOT email, call, or text and ask you to share your personal information.
  • Watch for scare tactics. Especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, and with all other phishing scams, cybercriminals may use scare tactics to get you to react and click a link or open an attachment. Statements like “Act Now”, “Few Remaining” for items that have been out of stock in stores, “Limited Treatment Available” and other like statements will be found in many phishing emails. Be cautious of emails like this and DO NOT click links or open attachments.

Countless phishing emails are received by individuals across the world every day.  By carefully reviewing your emails, you can spot fraudulent phishing emails and protect yourself from being a victim to phishing attempts.

Bank OZK will never contact you by phone or text and ask for your personal or account information that we already have on file. Never provide personal, sensitive information including your account number, card numbers, passwords or pins to anyone. Learn more about Online Security and Privacy.

This website and articles posted on this website have been prepared by Bank OZK for informational purposes only. They are meant to serve as general information security guidelines and are NOT intended to convey legal counsel or a contractual relationship.