Blake Dowling: Coronavirus crimes
The House already passed the measure.

Coronavirus Scams
There are always those that seek to prey on our state and nation during a crisis.

As the current health crisis continues on there are those in our state who try and make the situation better.

In Tallahassee, I talked to Tom Derzypolski from Bowstern last week about his idea to get people to donate old computers to redistribute to children that might not have a PC at home so they can continue their studies.

Sally Bradshaw at Midtown Reader has her team ready to deliver books.

Matt from Madison Social keeps the public informed of their situation with food specials. The team at the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra is providing “TSO at Home” videos with some amazing performances; check out one of them here.

Or how about the team at Break Out Escape Rooms sending a home mystery kit right to your doorsteps? This looks pretty awesome.

Our elected officials are also keeping us in the loop with a constant flow of information; most everyone is doing their part.

However, there are always those that seek to prey on our state and nation during a crisis.

Cyberscams galore are running amok with coronavirus themes. First, you get a “free stuff to help you during this time” text.

If you receive one of these texts — delete or ignore it, as no one is giving you a free iPad during this time.

Then there are bogus emails.

I received one claiming to be from the World Health Organization. It said it had “important information” for me and to please click.

If I clicked, there would be one of two scenarios: My machine would have been loaded with ransomware, malware or keystroke tracking tool.

Or Scenario Two (potentially worse) they would need to validate your personal info and will continue phishing for your information.

Please be wary of these.

Also the websites; there are links being sent with images of maps of the outbreak (just like the John Hopkins map we have all seen). Except, when you click the map your machine is corrupted.

Let’s not forget the fake apps, too. You download it, thinking it will help you track the virus near you, and then you get a message that your phone is encrypted.

You can read more on that here.

And — the worst of the worst — people going door-to-door, claiming to offer a test or even medicine to treat the illness.

This behavior has been reported in South Florida and local law enforcement has been very clear on the matter.

According to NBC Miami Channel 6, Chief Jorge Colina offered the following in a video posted on Twitter:

“Let me just let everyone know that the health department is not going to be visiting you at home. No one is going to be coming to your door to see if you have the coronavirus. So, if someone makes that claim, don’t answer the door. Please don’t give your personal information over the phone. We’ve had people call us. Even in the worst of times, there will be a small percentage of people who want to take advantage of your fears.”

Cheers to those folks trying to make the best of the situation and a shoutout to all our state officials for their leadership during this time.

For those using this time to try and rip us off, I wish upon you a Wiccan curse that exposes you to a constant barrage of DeBarge music 24/7; and that’s just for starters.

Be safe out there, everyone; be on the lookout for these scams. They are happening now in our state.


Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He can be reached at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at


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