Tuesday 2 March 2021

If you get called to tell you that your vaccine is ready, be careful! It may be a scam

Messages circulate on social networks warning that a vaccination appointment may turn into fraud

QCOSTARICA – Posing as bank employees, announcing that you have won a prize and now even telling you that the call is from the Ebáis to receive the vaccine against covid-19, are methods by scammers to steal your personal information and other data.

Scammers could use the opportunity of a vaccination appointment to deceive and obtain personal information to access your bank accounts and other personal information

The Fraud Section of the Organismo de Investigación Judicial (OIJ) said that though they still have no complaints of people scammed in the vaccination calls, there is the possibility that criminals also use this deception.

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The OIJ response is based on a message that is circulating social networks warning of unscrupulous who pose as employees of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) or local clinic, known as Ebáis, and say that they are going to send a code for the appointment of the vaccine.

Then a message follows up if the code had been received (it can be a Microsoft, Messenger, or WhatsApp code) and then they ask the code number with which they supposedly can access the victim’s passwords or bank accounts.

The message warns that such calls should be cut off and no code should ever be given to anyone because it can be the gateway to change the password of the bank account and scam.

“It is important to let the public know that criminals are sending these links in different ways, where they ask to write down sensitive information, such as passwords, accounts, emails and others that should never be answered,” says the OIJ.

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It is important to note that this message coincides with the time the CCSS announced that starting this month it will be calling on adults ager 58 and over to give them their vaccination date. But the CCSS will not require any type of confidential information.

We are all at risk

This Monday, the Deputy Prosecutor for Fraud and Cybercrime, Miguel Ramírez López, participated in a radio program with the Director of Security of the Banco Nacional, David Hernández, where they clarify that there is no profile of a victim more susceptible to being scammed by telephone since it has occurred to people of all ages, educational levels, and socioeconomic status.

They add that prevention is the main weapon to stop criminals. “They make a phone call, with great kindness, but behind what exists is the real criminal”, they warn.

Both agree that the ways in which cybercriminals act to steal money from people’s bank accounts are evolving and diversifying rapidly.

A phone call, text message, or email will your money disappear in minutes.

“Technological development is so fast that when we are detecting situations, criminals are already looking for alternatives; however, we do a screening of all the complaints that come in to see the modalities and detect patterns,” highlighted prosecutor Ramírez.

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A scammer may have the account number and even the credit or debit card number of a person, but if he does not have the codes he cannot carry out any transaction.

For his part, David Hernández stressed that one should not trust the fact that the number reported by the caller ID is known, since it can be altered by means of technological methods.

“The moment you receive a call, a message or an email requesting your password, your token (numerical password), your card details or that you enter them on a web page, you are being scammed,” said Hernández.

In 2020, people were scammed of more than ¢7 billion colones, the majority by telephone.

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We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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