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Scam Warning

13 March 2020

Beware of Phishing Emails, Social Media Postings and Text Messages Associated with the COVID-19

Amid concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church Educational System (CES) Operations Center is advising the campus community to beware of scams and malware being circulated via email and social media.

These scams typically involve impersonation of health officials or other official communication to trick users into giving up personal information. We have recently learned that cybercriminals are spreading links to malicious sites disguised as reliable COVID-19 maps such as the one at Johns Hopkins University (below) to infect computers with malware. Links to these sites are being circulated either on social media or through misleading emails.

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Map

We have also had reports of students receiving a text message from the CDC about COVID-19. This is a hoax and not from the CDC (right). Read how the Utah County Health Department would make official contact with individuals.

We encourage members of the campus community to visit for factual information and updates. Individuals concerned they might have COVID-19 should call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 800-456-7707.

The US Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) advises individuals to exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.

CISA further encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions.

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact the CES Security Operations Center at 801-422-7788 or