COVID-19 + Cyber Crime

How does COVID-19 impact cyber crime? Find out from Presidential Leadership Scholar Kristin Judge.

During my journey with the PLS class of 2017, I was able to obtain a 501c3 status and funding to start the Cybercrime Support Network. Our public-private partnership is giving a voice to victims of cybercrime and online fraud and providing resources to report, recover and reinforce security after an attack. PLS Scholars continue to help us engage key stakeholders and obtain funding to grow and serve more victims. Our servant-leadership organization has grown from one employee to 24 in under 3 years thanks to the support of the PLS Scholars Program. has served over 500k victims over the past year. Please send family and friends there for resources to report, recover and reinforce their security as cybercrime and online fraud increases during this challenging time.” – Kristin Judge

The Coronavirus outbreak has global attention and is a national emergency in the United States. Since cybercriminals prey on fear, we can expect to see more and more COVID-19 scams as the situation progresses. Learn more about scams happening during the pandemic:

Charity scams: You may see charities that you don’t recognize asking for donations in the wake of COVID-19. Verify all charities on the IRS tax exemption site. Our recovery page lists action steps to take after donating to a fraudulent charity.

Social media scams: Social media is a tool that cybercriminals use to distribute false information and capitalize on panic. If you’re looking for information on social media, visit trusted profiles like the CDC, World Health Organization, Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau.

Romance scams: Many of us are staying home due to the outbreak, so we are spending more time on the internet. Cybercriminals will try to capitalize on this heightened internet traffic to lure people into romance scams. If the person you started chatting with online asks you for money, it’s probably a scam. Take a look at these romance scam red flags and recovery resources for help.

Phishing Scams: Emails impersonating the World Health Organization, the CDC, and other reputable sources may hit your inbox. Don’t click on emails impersonating these organizations. For accurate info, go straight to the source. Visit the World Health Organization and the CDC’s websites. If you’ve accidentally clicked on a phishing link, visit our recovery page on

Robocalls: Calls from cybercriminals pretending to be government organizations, family members in distress, banks/credit card companies etc. are on the rise due to the coronavirus outbreak. Robocalls are less easy to detect than they used to be, the caller ID can be adjusted to make it look like the call is coming from your area code. This establishes a false sense of trust. Visit our Phone Spoofing and Robocall recovery page for help.

Work-from-home Small Business Concerns: Many of us have moved to remote work in light of recent events. Make sure your employees are trained to uphold cybersecurity practiced from home. The Cyber Readiness Institute has created a guide to securing a remote workforce, utilize these tools and tips to get ahead of cybercrime risks. Our Small Business Resource page has a curated list of tools to help you keep your SMB safe. If an employee within your organization clicks a phishing link, visit our SMB phishing resource page for recovery steps.

Malware: Fraudulent links can install malware on your device. If your computer has been infected by malware from a malicious link, visit our recovery page here