New COVID Booster Scam: How To Stay Safe

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the lives of everyone. While people are facing hardship in overcoming the pandemic that is here to prevail for the unforeseen future, cybercriminals and hackers are using this situation. With the surge in the number of people getting affected by the virus and the spread of the Omicron variant, the government of India has started administering booster doses for citizens above 60 years as a precaution.

 
New COVID Booster Scam: How To Stay Safe

While this initiative is aimed at bringing the number of cases down, hackers are coming up with new ideas to cheat users. One such scam is based on the COVID-19 booster dose and health officials are trying to trick users and take their bank account details. Here's how you can stay safe from these scams.

COVID-19 Booster Shot Scam

Using the situation wherein people are preferring to take up the booster dose, cybercriminals are giving a call to the senior citizens who are looking out for the vaccine. They will ask target individuals if they have taken up the second dose and get to know their address, phone number and crucial details. In some cases, the caller will already have the necessary details such as the date of vaccination as well.

Following the same, the hackers will make another call to check if they are interested in taking up the booster jab and if they want a slot for the same. Once they confirm the date and time of the jab, they will be sent an OTP to their mobile number. The scammers may also ask people to download an app such as AnyDesk to help them in booking the slot for the booster jab.

Once the OTP is revealed, they will use the same to transfer money from the bank account of the victim. So, this OTP is the key to the phishing scam and they can get all the money from the user's bank account this way. Especially, their target is the elderly people living in rural areas who do not know about UPI, internet banking, and apps.

 

Having said that, if you want to stay safe from these scams, then you can take a look at the inputs given below.

How To Stay Safe?

In order to stay safe from these scams such as the booster dose scam, fake or spam calls can be avoided if users are vigilant. The most important thing to note is that there is no option made by the government to book a vaccine slot via a phone call. To make an appointment, users need to head to the CoWin portal or the Aarogya Setu app. So, if you receive any calls regarding vaccination, it is better not to respond to them or let them have any important details.

When it comes to the OTP, people who are receiving any SMS with the OTP have to be cautious to use the same carefully. If not, their hard-earned money will be gone to the scammers. Also, it is advised that people download call blocker apps that will highlight when they receive a spam or suspicious call from such cybercriminals.

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