How to identify Coronavirus phishing emails

Augusta University Cyber Defense

Keeping your body healthy and safe during the season of a new virus is crucial, but so is keeping your computer and other technology devices guarded and safe.

During times of heightened fear cyber-attacks are also on the rise. Scammers are posing as authorities like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to collect personal information, install malware or viruses on devices, and steal money from people. Email phishing attempts can look legit but are extremely dangerous.

You need to be able to take steps to prevent a phishing email attempt, easily identify a phishing email, and report suspicious emails to the correct entity.


Cyberattackers can be smart, but you can be smarter. Taking the necessary steps to protect your data and devices can help keep you safe during times of intense cyber-attacks.

Keep these four preventative tips in mind:

  1. Think before you click.
  2. Be cautious when opening emails that are not from
  3. Use strong passwords, and change them often.
  4. Use multi-factor authentication (DUO) for as many applications as possible.


Identifying a coronavirus phishing email can be difficult. These emails can look and sound completely legitimate, but if you haven’t subscribed to the CDC’s or the WHO’s e-newsletters then you probably shouldn’t be receiving any emails or texts from either organization.

Here are easy ways to identify a phishing email:

  1. The scammer tries to evoke a sense of fear or urgency
  2. There are click-through links in the text of the email
  3. You do not recognize the sender

Being aware of these three cybercrime tactics can help you to prevent being hacked.


Reporting a phishing attempt is important! If you are an affiliate of Augusta University please reach out to our cyber team at (706) 722-9237 or forward the suspicious email to

If you are not an affiliate of Augusta University you can reach out to Homeland Security.

Be aware. Be vigilant. Be proactive.

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Written by
Michaela Martinez
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