Google has warned that scammers are sending 18 million coronavirus hoax emails per day to Gmail users.
The tech giant revealed the ongoing health crisis has led to a rise in phishing attacks, which see criminals trying to trick people into revealing their personal data.
In a joint statement, Gmail’s products manager Neil Kumaran and Sam Lugani — lead security PMM, G Suite and CP platform — said: “During the last week, we saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19.”
However, the duo explained the firm was doing its best to block almost 100 percent of malicious content.
They added: “This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages.
“Our machine learning models have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and we continue to block more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing and malware from reaching our end users.”
It’s said that scammers have sent fake emails and texts claiming to be from the WHO, the UK government and even U.S. officials including President Donald Trump.
As quoted by the BBC, independent security researcher Scott Helme commented: “Phishing attacks always share the common trait of inciting or depending on an emotion that causes us to act more hastily or think less about our actions at that moment in time.
“The coronavirus pandemic is a highly emotional topic right now and cybercriminals clearly know this.
“They’re hoping that the typical person might be more inclined to click through links or follow bad instructions if they use this lure.”