Do NOT open this coronavirus email from the 'director of the WHO' – it's a dangerous scam

CYBER-criminals have been impersonating the World Health Organisation in an attempt to take advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

Experts have picked up on scams that involve phishing emails with fake links to COVID-19 information.

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These links actually contain malware that could infect your computer.

Researchers at IBM X-Force found 'HawkEye' malware being spread under the disguise of a WHO email alert from is director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

HawkEye is a type of malware used to steal information from computers.

Recipients of the email are encouraged to open an attachment for "drug advice".

What is phishing?

Here's what you need to know…

  • Phishing is a type of online fraud
  • It's typically an attempt to nab some of your data
  • Phishing generally involves scammers posing as a trustworthy entity
  • For instance, fraudsters could send you an email claiming to be your bank, asking for details
  • Scammers can also set up fake websites that look like real ones, simply to hoodwink you
  • Phishing can take place over email, social media, texts, phone calls and more
  • The best defence against phishing is to be generally sceptical of weblinks and emails, especially if they were unsolicited

It's very important that you're wary of all emails like this and never open an attachment if you're unsure.

A new type of HawkEye is said to be doing the rounds that can track everything you type once it's uploaded to your computer.

It's also said to be capable of taking screenshots and stealing credentials from web browsers.

This means your passwords and other private information could be put at risk.

X-Force said: "One thing worth mentioning is that the attackers put some effort in hiding the real intention of it.

"The environmental awareness of our sample was quite good and average users would most likely not notice an info-stealer being installed."

How to avoid a phishing scam

Firstly, you should be thorough when checking who the email is from.

Even if it looks official you should double check the email and look for any spelling mistakes or slight abnormalities in the sender's email address.

Never feel pressurised into opening an attachment and avoid clicking the phrase "enable content".

You should also be wary of links in emails.

If you're certain an email you have received is a scam then delete it.


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In other news, sick YouTube coronavirus videos claiming ‘5G caused COVID-19’ have racked up millions of views.

WhatsApp coronavirus text hoaxes are spreading like wildfire.

And, your internet may be getting slower as the coronavirus outbreak causes a huge surge in daytime traffic.

Have you spotted a coronavirus scam? Let us know in the comments…

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