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Has COVID opened the door for even wider for cyber criminals to scam you?

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Earlier this month, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General warned that scammers are using telemarketing, text messages, social media platforms and even door-to-door visits for COVID-related scams.

Demand for at-home COVID tests has surged along with the highly contagious omicron variant. Now cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of people searching for those kits by using scam emails to lure them to fake websites that steal credit card and other personal information. Even the government website offering free test kits has the potential to spawn knockoff sites, according to the Better Business Bureau. When visiting a government website be sure the address ends with .gov. Only government agencies can obtain these addresses.

Between October and January, the number of scam emails mentioning COVID testing jumped by more than 500%, according to a Barracuda Networks analysis of nearly 3 million spear-phishing emails sent during those months. 

While some cybercriminals appear to be after corporate networks and other big targets, the vast majority are designed to steal banking and login credentials from everyday people, according to Barracuda.

Meet the Expert

Chris Kays founded F1 Computing Solutions, LLC, in July 2005. Having spent many years in the IT field and knowing just how difficult and frustrating it could be to find support in a timely manner, Chris decided his IT company would focus on high-quality, timely customer service.

Chris was honorably discharged as a disabled veteran after four years of service in the United States Air Force. Following that service, Chris became a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service in Springfield. After 15 years working his way up through the ranks into management while simultaneously putting himself through college at MSU, earning a bachelor’s degree in business, Chris decided to start F1 Computing Solutions. During Chris’s time at the Postal Service, he frequently put his computer and programming skills to use. He even cut the manager’s workload in half with a program he created; a program that was then implemented at post offices nationwide.

Chris is immensely proud of his many accomplishments throughout his life. He is and always will be a proud American and is even more proud to be from Springfield, Missouri. Chris is honored to be able to continue with a thriving business supported by the very community to which he has always belonged.


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