RedCross email scam
What’s RedCross email scam
RedCross email scam refers an email scam that’s currently going around, asking for people to donate to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in order to help fight the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There’s a lot of similar scams going around at this time because scammers and cyber crooks are using the COVID-19 pandemic to their own advantage. This particular scam is more sophisticated than many others we have encountered so there is a higher chance that someone will fall for it. However, this report will explain precisely why this is a scam and how to recognise them in the future.
The sender of the scam email introduces themselves as someone from the International Red Cross. They go on to explain that various health organizations like WHO, ICRC and CDC are working together to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and that donations are needed to support aid workers, medical professionals, and to provide needed supplies for countries that need them. Users are asked to donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
First of all, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is a legitimate fund that you can donate to. Using a legitimate fund name in a scam is a clever move by the scammers because if someone where to Google it, they would be given results saying it’s an actual fund by WHO (World Health Organization). For some users, that would be enough proof that it’s legitimate. However, instead of donating via the WHO website, the email asks that you donate via Bitcoin, which is an immediate giveaway.
WHO has explicitly warned people about these scams. The organization has also said that the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the only call for donations WHO has issued, and donations should only be made via the official website.
“Any other appeal for funding or donations that appears to be from WHO is a scam,” the site says.
It does not appear that anyone has fallen for this scam because the Bitcoin address had only a couple of transactions of $1~.
How to differentiate between legitimate and scam emails
At first glance, the RedCross email scam looks pretty legitimate, despite a few grammar errors, it looks pretty well written with no obvious spelling mistakes. It asks that people make donations for critical response efforts, helping aid workers and medical personnel, as well as providing COVID-19 test kits and ventilators to countries most affected by the virus. The email even asks that users “share the message further”, so some people may forward the email to their contacts, who may fall for the scam because someone they know forwarded it to them.
There are certain signs that point to this and other scam emails being malicious. The first sign is the sender’s email address. A lot of scam emails are sent from completely random email addresses made up of random letters and numbers, so they’re evidently fake. However, some email addresses seem more legitimate and official. Even if they do look legitimate, you can always check by using a search engine. For example, the Red Cross scam email mentions email@example.com a couple of times. At first glance, it may look like it belongs to someone from the organisation. But if you were to do a quick Google search, the only result with this email address would be a site explaining this scam.
Another signs is the language used in the email. Look for obvious grammar and spelling mistakes, awkward language, etc. Most scam emails are usually full of mistakes.
Finally, the fact that this email is asking for donations in Bitcoin instead of linking to the official WHO website is also an immediate giveaway. No legitimate organisation will ever ask for donations this way. If they wanted to ask you to donate money, you’d be linked to official sources which you could confirm to be real.
While this particular Red Cross scam email doesn’t have them, we also feel it’s necessary to warn you about scam emails with attachments or links. You should never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails, even if they seem like they are sent from organizations like WHO.
RedCross email scam removal
If you have received this email in your inbox, just remove RedCross email scam. Opening the email itself is not going to harm your device but for future reference, never open email attachments or click on links in suspicious emails.
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