You would expect that death is a time to mourn and be respectful. But not for scammers who always seem to have ideas on how to take advantage of every situation, including moments of grief.
This is the case with the ongoing mourning of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. As the rest of the world mourns, scammers are busy executing their own version of mourning that is aimed at conning unsuspecting people in the UK, Europe and the entire world.
This has been revealed by the National Cyber Security Center of the United Kingdom (NCSC) in a post where they warn people to watch out for all manner of potential scams that are using the death of the Queen as a cover.
According to Cybersecurity firm Bitfinder, some of the emerging scams that are related to the Queen’s death are going for Microsoft account credentials, where the scammers are keen to steal the victims’ credentials. This scam originates from a phishing email that talks about an initiative to create a so-called “AI memory board” to honor Her Majesty.
You will see email subjects such as “Be part of our AI hub in honor of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II” or “Join our AI hub in honor of Queen Elizabeth II”.
The emails contain a link that seems to suggest you are going to a platform that is created “In memory of Her Majesty”. But once you click on it, you land on a page that appears like it’s by Microsoft but it’s actually fake. This is the page the scammers will use to harvest your credentials. This particular scam has been reported widely in the UK, US, Germany, Sweden, Ireland and South Korea. Fortunately the fake page is reported to have disappeared after the scammers noticed they have been detected. But of course they can always fire up another page.
Another con the scammers are using is to create fake tokens that bear the Queen’s name. The aim here is to get as many people as possible to invest in these new tokens, believing they are great crypto tokens that have been named after the Queen and so they must be legit. Please don’t fall for that. These tokens are far from legit and will disappear with your money. Some of the token names to watch out for include God Save the Queen, Queen Elizabeth Inu, and Rip Queen Elizabeth among others. Please keep off these fake cryptocurrency schemes that are purely designed to snatch your money. Don’t invest in such!
Other scammers have created Twitter accounts that purport to be representing Buckingham Palace. Through these accounts, the scammers claim to be giving tickets to people planning to attend the funeral of the Queen. But when you click on the links, you will land on scam websites where you will be required to enter your financial details in order to get the ticket. It’ll not happen, please don’t open the link.
How to stay safe from scams taking advantage of the Queen’s death
It is understandable that many people around the world are affected by the passing of the Queen. But scammers see it differently and they are out here to exploit this big event.
Please avoid clicking on links from emails you can’t seem to recognize. Be careful as well when using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp. Before you even start reading any email that you don’t recognize, scrutinize and verify the validity of the sender. Don’t be tempted to click every link you come across on social media, even those posted by Verified accounts. Remember that verified accounts can also be hacked and be used to broadcast malicious links. Consult authorities whenever unsure. Report any suspicious email or social media account as this will help authorities to stop the scam before it goes mainstream.
Finally, please be watchful. Scammers don’t care even in times of sorrow and will use every opportunity to steal.