Catch of the Week – November

Here are some of the popular phishing scams on their way to your phone or inbox this week. Phishing is one of the top ways attackers get into your life and cause trouble.

This time, they’re back with a tricky new email about your COVID test results.

Watch here:

Tricky New Email 

Security company Cofense says this email pretends to be a notification of your test results from ‘Doctors Support’.

“Dear Patients: Your SARS-CoV-2 test ready to be take off.”

If you’re paying attention, the poor grammar can be a red flag.

It says the doctor’s office will call to set up an appointment. In the meantime, click to see your results.

Click and you get ransomware, according to Cofense, with a ransom note saying your data is encrypted or scrambled so you can’t get to it.

Pay a huge amount — 50 bitcoins, or more than half a million dollars — to get it back. Oh, and they’ve stolen your data, too, so they can sell it or simply reveal it to the public.

If you’ve ever taken a COVID-19 test, you might read the initial email and follow the link without examining the message closely — not unlike the very popular ‘you’ve got a package’ text message scam that’s circulating now.


Fake COVID test result email. Image: Cofense

Hot Topic

COIVD tests are a popular theme for scammers.

This year, they’ve also sent fake text messages telling you your test results are in, in some cases asking for your date of birth and other personal information they can use against you or sell.

This, however, may be the creepiest.

One message tells you a home testing team will visit you at home on a certain date, according to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute in the United Kingdom.

“We will telephone upon arrival, please unlock your door and then move to another room AWAY from the front door. Do not come out to meet us. All other household members and pets must stay in a different room to you,” the message reads.

“We will enter your property and we will remain inside the front door to put on our protective clothing. You must wait in a separate room until we come to you. Results will be telephoned to you within 24 – 72 hours.”

It’s not real — and it’s a good way to get robbed.


Fake text message about home COIVD testing. Image: CTSI/Yahoo News

Why Check?

You may say, “I would never fall for it.” And hopefully, you won’t.

But compare a fake COVID test result text message with a real one. It’s not always easy to tell the difference.


Fake COVID test results text message. Image: KVLY
Real COVID test results text message. Image: SA Pathology


It’s a good reminder to check and verify outside of the message before you even think of clicking. Attackers will ride the COVID wave as long as they can.

See also:

Catch of the Week — October

Catch of the Week — December


Main image: Illustration of fish leaping from water. Image: iLexx/iStock

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