New Consumer & Small Business COVID-19 Awareness Study

April 7-8, 2020 – Consumer & Small Business COVID-19 Awareness Study by Morning consult and IBM Security

For the full article with a link to the study: https://securityintelligence.com/posts/new-study-shows-consumers-could-be-vulnerable-to-covid-19-spam/

Forward by Laura Baker, CyberWyoming. This study should be shared with friends, family and neighbors. It affects us all. If we have prior knowledge of scams and fraud, we are less likely to engage with the bad actor and thus, less likely to lose money. According to the FBI’s Internet Crimes Complaint Center, Wyoming’s losses to internet crimes are almost doubling every year.

2016 Wyo Reported Losses2017 Wyo Reported Losses2018 Wyo Reported Losses2019 Wyo Reported Losses
$913,941$2,331,692$4,517,128$8,138,463
https://www.ic3.gov/media/annualreports.aspx

Other studies have shown that our risk factors for clicking are
1. Impulsiveness – do you impulse buy at the Walmart checkout stand? If so you may want to take that extra second for self reflection and question whether you click.
2. Living alone – those that don’t have someone to talk to at home about scams are more likely to become victims.
3. Lower financial literacy levels – if you hate balancing your checkbook and don’t understand investing, it may be time to get a Suze Orman book from the library and raise that level of your education.

Key Points from the Study

Point #1: Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they expect to receive official information pertaining to COVID-19 via email, and a third said they expect to receive official information by mail (33%). Over a third (35%) of respondents say they would expect to hear communication from the IRS by email and a third say they would expect to hear communication from the World Health Organization by email.

Point #2: Over half (52%) of respondents said they would engage with an email related to their stimulus relief eligibility and nearly four in ten (39%) said they would engage with an email about COVID-19 testing near them. Nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents who are recently unemployed said they would be most likely to engage with an email related to their stimulus relief eligibility; employed respondents were more likely to say they would engage with an email about COVID-19 testing near them

Point #3: Nearly six in ten (58%) small business owners said they were familiar with the small business loans being offered by the government to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, but only 14% of small business owners said they feel very knowledgeable about the process to get access to the small business loan relief program from the government.

Point #4: Over a third (37%) of small business owners said they have received unsolicited COVID-19 related emails that they suspected were malicious spam –12% more than general respondents (25%) claimed. 57% of small business owners expect to receive official information about COVID-19 via email. In fact, 54% of SMB owners said they received information by email.

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