Wherever you turn for news coverage online, coronavirus alarm bells are ringing louder.
But users should not trust all of those bells, as fake news, phishing scams and even malicious malware is actively being distributed under the coronavirus umbrella.
Sadly, a perfect storm may be brewing. As government officials and health experts appeal louder for calm, the public is actually getting more worried and searching the Internet for answers. For example:
On Friday, Jan. 31, fears slammed the U.S. stock market, according to Axios. “Stocks saw the worst sell-off in months on Friday: the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 603 points (2.1%), while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq declined 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. …”
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that the U.S. and Australia have joined Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy in closing their borders to all foreign nationals arriving from China. These actions were taken despite conflicting advice from global health officials. “Travel restrictions can cause more harm than good by hindering info-sharing, medical supply chains and harming economies,” the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
At the same time, Bloomberg news reported that China Virus Cases May Be Undercounted Even With 3,000% Surge. “The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in China has skyrocketed to more than 9,000, surpassing the official count during the SARS epidemic. …”
Coronavirus Is a Bonanza for Online Scams and Fake News
As expected, the rapid spread of the coronavirus, along with the expanded media coverage of surrounding events related to this global health emergency, has led to hoaxes and the spread of panic. According to CNN, “In Los Angeles County, public health officials warned residents Thursday that a letter claiming a potential coronavirus outbreak in Carson City (Read more…)