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New Study Shows Consumers Could Be Vulnerable to COVID-19 Spam

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, IBM X-Force has observed a more than 6,000 percent increase in COVID-19-related spam, with lures ranging the full gamut of challenges and concerns facing individuals — from phishing emails impersonating the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the WHO to U.S. banking institutions offering relief funds.

To better understand how effective phishing attempts exploiting the global health crisis could be against U.S. residents, IBM Security and Morning Consult conducted the 2020 Consumer & Small Business COVID-19 Awareness Study. The survey revealed the need to strengthen respondents’ understanding of the legitimate channels that government institutions use to communicate with constituents, as well as small business owners’ uncertainty regarding the resources made available to them by the U.S. government. Some key highlights from the study include:

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