FBI says scammers targeting coronavirus fears with malicious apps and websites

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The FBI is out with a warning about how scammers are taking advantage of coronavirus fears. Essentially the scammers are putting out websites and apps purporting to give you information about the coronavirus. But those malicious websites and apps will lock down your device until you pay them a ransom.

When those websites or apps are enacted, they take over the host device. And then once the host device has been taken over, the scammers will lock the device out until the victim pays a fee to get the device unlocked.

The agency says they are seeing this scam a lot, although they did not provide any information about the number of times it has happened. They also say it can happen with almost any device including phones, pads, laptops, and PCs.

The FBI wants you to report it if this scam happens to you and take precautions, such as not opening email attachments from an unknown sender and —

Always independently verify the information originates from a legitimate source such as the CDC or FEMA.

The FBI adds that Android devices are more vulnerable to these malicious websites and apps than Apple devices.

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