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The Rise of Identity Theft during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Identity theft accounts for 65% of the total global data breach incidents. The enormity of cybercrime and the dangers it poses to businesses and individuals is evident from the fact that every 2 seconds an American falls victim to identity fraud. The dollar loss related to identity theft was almost $16.9 billion in 2019. However, these numbers are just a speck in the ocean of the expected cybercrime during the coming months and years. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, identity theft may transpire into an ever-worsening epidemic that leads to severe business losses and victimizes more people than ever before. 

Don’t Become the Next Victim of Hackers, Fraudsters and Cybercriminals 

While the world and the U.S. grapples with the unprecedented and grim realities of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, hackers, scammers, and online predators are having a field day. Whether it is the exponential increase in people working from less-secure home networks, or the government-announced financial relief measures, malicious actors are exploiting every weakness and loophole to find their next victim for identity fraud. 

The data experts at Crown Information Management summarize the various types of identity theft to help you remain vigilant and protect your personal and business information. 

Beware of these Cybercrimes in Times of COVID-19 

Several government bodies have sent out multiple advisories warning consumers against malicious agents who are riding on coronavirus related fears for stealing personal, financial, and medical information. 

Here are some of the most common COVID-19 related scams or crimes that have already come to light:

  • Spoofed government websites for financial relief measure claims
  • Fraudulent websites selling test kits, masks, sanitizers, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Fake websites claiming miracle cures, or selling vaccines or alternative treatments
  • Phishing calls, texts, and emails encouraging people to share personal information for claiming financial stimulus or making investments
  • Scams related to job opportunities or charity donations

Stay aware of all such potential scams and protect yourself, your family, and your business from the epidemic of identity theft by following these simple steps:

  1. Whether you are awaiting your stimulus or benefit checks, going on a socially distanced vacation, or working from home, beware of:
    • Scammers pretending to be government officials
    • Messages or emails from unratified sources asking for personal information, bank account or credit card details, or health information
  1. Address your home office’s data liabilities to combat the information security threats while working from home. Secure your network and devices, limit access to work devices, keep your physical records safe, be wary of job offers, and be careful where you click.
  2. In addition to safeguarding your physical and digital files, remember to securely destroy your hard drives, thumb drives, or other digital media and devices. Simply formatting your devices before dumping them is not enough. 

Save time and money on the records management lifecycle by hiring a SOC1, NAID AAA and PCI Certified company, such as Crown Information Management. We offer state-of-the-art storage facilities and reliable and affordable plans for secure storage and safe disposal of your physical as well as digital records. 

Explore our various record management and data destruction services and get tailor-made plans for your business. Call Crown Information Management at 800-979-9545 or contact us online to get a free estimate for your requirements.