Skip to content

10 Reasons We Became Easy Targets for Coronavirus Scams


A look at why we were and still are vulnerable for scams.  

Con artists are always on the prowl for their next victim, every day of the year. More than that, scammers look for new opportunities to launch more schemes. And they were extremely busy with new schemes in 2020, when we were all easy targets for coronavirus scams.

Scammers ran true to form when the Covid-19 virus blindsided us. They suddenly had a new opportunity to lure us into their traps. They took advantage of with news and misinformation about the coronavirus.  

And sad to say, their tactics may have worked better than ever. We were, and still are in a disaster of sorts, which is why you still need to be aware of some common virus-related scams taking place right now.

But’s that’s only a start.

The truth is, we are still vulnerable to scams—almost automatically and understandably—during a crisis like Covid.

There were millions of targets for coronavirus scams.

It takes several factors to make a scam work and we wrote an article about it. One factor is at the heart of it: It’s that scammers NEED people to listen to their message and engage with them. Victims need to take the bait and take action.

There are a range of emotional states people are still experiencing today from the pandemic. Some are angry, others are worried. Their reaction could be harsh, without a lot of thought. There is just too information coming at them without giving much thought to where it’s coming from. Scammers are well aware of this.

Here’s the danger: We don’t even have to overreact to become easy targets for coronavirus scams. That’s why the coronavirus outbreak made (and still makes) it easy for scammers to find targets. Con artists, just like sociologists, are assessing society’s range of emotions right now, and scoping out their opportunities. (They really are that devious.)

Here are the reasons we became easy targets for coronavirus scams.

Here’s what con artists and fraudsters were thinking when the coronavirus hit hard in early 2020. In fact, you could say here’s what they KNEW:

  1. Our guard was down. We’re not thinking the same; we’re out of sorts; we have never been in a situation like this. Even if we are not panicking or affected yet by the virus, we are off-balance. Our lives have been affected and we are looking for solutions, normalcy and a foundation. And that’s what scammers are counting on.
  2. The news fascinated us. Most people are tracking news by the hour, looking for the latest information, updates and stories from around the world. We’ve NEVER seen anything like this, and it’s affecting our lives directly. Everyone is online looking for information, and hackers and scammers know this.
  3. We became very concerned. Concern isn’t the same as panic. We all know that this is a serious time in our world and that we need to be taking this virus seriously. It’s our duty, especially if we’re parents, guardians, caregivers, bosses, etc. We need to stay up to date with the latest information. Scammers are out there, eager to “assure” us with false information.
  4. Some people got paranoid. This is perhaps the highest range of reaction and a heightened sense of focus. It’s someone going from concern to sensing their worst-fears and the end of the world. These people could feel out of control, looking for conspiracy theories behind it all. They’ll spend time looking online for confirmation of the latest fears—and guess who’ll be there ready to talk to them? The scammers, of course!

    Man stocking up on toilet paper
  5. There was plenty of panicking. As we’ve all seen, people quickly hoarding supplies. The either let panic get the best of them or they joined the crowds. They decided it was time to (help) empty the shelves of toilet paper, water and rice. With a strong sense of desperation, people who panic may start looking for other sources for items to buy or hoard. And guess who will be eager to help?
  6. People looked to make money! There are this eager to make a profit during a crisis. Perhaps they’ll seek investment opportunities with companies whose stocks, they hope, may rise dramatically in short time. Here’s the problem. Many fraudsters play the game of “pump and dump.” They pump up stocks, and dupe eager investors.
  7. We wanted to donate to causes. There are always people whose heart immediately wants to respond by giving donations to important organizations involved in the cause. With a mind to help, they might respond to emails soliciting an offer to contribute a donation, but devised by con artists.
  8. Most were being conscientious. We’re being asked to change our routines and do the right things…and many people are doing the right things. There are plenty of people, particularly people in businesses and organizations, who want to do the right things in the right way at a time like this. In their eagerness to be responsible, they may be fooled by information that seems very official, such as emails seemingly from important organizations, but which are actually sent by fraudsters.
  9. It was a confusing time. How could we not feel very confused at time like this, not truly understanding what is happening, even wondering why this is happening. We are all in the same boat…we only know what we’re being told. And scammers are eager to tell us false information.
  10. We acted like humans. All the range of reactions or responses we are seeing in the people around us (friends, family, coworkers), read about online are understandable. We might even be feeling them ourselves. Sure, it may not all seem normal or rational at a time like this, but that’s how it is. We are all human, we are all different, and we are all worried about what happens next.

We are still targets for coronavirus scams…or any scam.

Our emotions are high, our reactions could be all over the place and scammers and hackers know this all too well. There has never quite been a time like this and scammers never lose out on an opportunity that’s presented to them.

Just when we though the pandemic was behind us in early 2021, it came roaring back in a new form. Along with it, of course, fraudulent schemes came back with it. We covered that topic in an article on our website.

No matter where we are on the reactions scale, we must put our guard up extra high right now, and perhaps for months to come. It’s reality for now. We know scammers won’t go away anytime soon…and they surely won’t announce when they’re coming for us.

We all need to be on the lookout, and avoid being easy prey.

Easy Prey

Follow the Easy Prey Podcast

For more insights into scams of all types, follow the Easy Prey Podcast
and hear interviews with experts on scams and fraud.

Related Articles

  • All
  • Easy Prey Podcast
  • General Topics
  • Home Computing
  • IP Addresses
  • Networking
  • Online Privacy
  • Online Safety
  • Uncategorized

10 Things to Do Before You Sell Your iPhone

Are you ready to sell or give away your iPhone so you can get a new one…

[Read More]

Why ​​STIR/SHAKEN Might Be a Real Solution to End the Robocall Nightmare

“We’re not going to stop until we get robocallers, spoofers, and scammers off the line.” – FCC…

[Read More]

Biggest Security Vulnerabilities With WordPress Plugins

WordPress powers over 40 percent of the web. The user-friendly content management system allows non-web developers to…

[Read More]

Webcam Spies: Why You Should Cover Your Laptop Camera ASAP

If you’re worried about webcam spies or cyber hackers obtaining your most confidential information, your paranoia is…

[Read More]

Staying Safe While Traveling Internationally

Traveling internationally can be an incredible experience or a long-lasting nightmare. Asher Fergusson has tips to keep…

[Read More]

What Exactly is Freedom of Speech on the Internet?

Friendly Reminder: This article discusses legal terminology, but should in no way be considered legal advice.   America…

[Read More]