Never ones to pass up an opportunity, phishing scammers are now using the media coverage of the new Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, to steal people’s personal information and commit identity theft.
It began last week when British consumer-review website Which? (the question mark is intended) got several phishing emails forwarded from readers. All the emails claimed to come from the National Health Service (NHS), England’s public-health authority, and offered to send readers an Omicron-variant home-testing kit.
The emails added that every resident of the England needed to take such a test or be required to self-isolate.
“People who do not consent or cannot agree to a COVID-19 test and refuse to undergo a [test] swab must be isolated,” the email said.
The email provided a link or button for readers to click on, which took anyone foolish enough to do so to a fake NHS page that, as Which? put it, “asks for your full name, date of birth, address, mobile [number], and email address — more than enough to attempt identity fraud.”
As an option, it also asked you to provide your mother’s maiden name as the answer to a “security question.” There was also a “delivery fee” of £1.24 (about $1.65 U.S.) to get the supposed Omicron test to you.
Coming to America
Today (Dec. 6), Bitdefender reported that it had seen the same scam email repurposed to target U.S. residents, with the purported sender being the federal Department of Health and Human Services…