Public awareness on possible crimes exploiting Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19)

NATIONAL NEWS

1. The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) has led the global countries, including Myanmar, to impose emergency measures on travel restrictions, security reform, scrutinizing inbound and outbound people at the residential areas, public transportation, reducing schedules of cars, trains and airplanes, curfews and home stay.
2. In taking advantages on this situation, some criminals and immoral businesspersons are cashing in from the following cases:
(a) Criminals have turned their targets to online and domestic offences
(b) Emergence of counterfeited necessary food and medicines with skyrocketing prices in the markets when people are getting into panic about the pandemic
(c) Developing new games by the cyber criminals for fraud money schemes while increasing use of online games during the home-stay period of people, and making virus attacks with some types of software such as malware and ransomware to cause damages at the computers
(d) Cyber attacks on internets and network systems of hospitals and medical treatments in COVID-19 disease and monitoring the patients
(e) Criminals try to get the capitals of infected persons in the stock investments related with the COVID-19 in unscrupulous ways
(f) Deceitful persons misuse the brands of well-known business firms by using websites, e-commerce platforms, social media and emails to get money transfer from selling and distributing medicines
(g) Medical claims in the forms of cash or i-pay from public health representatives through telephones, lying as a positive patient at the hospital or as a person under the quarantine
(h) Broadcast video files online, pretending as medical doctor/specialist and persuading to buy fake medicines and cheating money from those who fear of the pandemic by asking their email and password to browse the websites
(i) Cheating money with advertisement of COVID-19 protective items, such as face masks, PPEs and alcohol gels
(j) Selling substandard medicines and fake medical supplies online and in public through advertisement which is used for criminal cases
(k) Risks to public lives due to illegal goods and substandard medicines
(l) Trespassing and theft as windows are opened at homes both day and night due to hot weather conditions during curfew order and home-stay period
(m) Robbery with weapons as gathering and going around of five people and above are prohibited
(n) Sexual harassments through unreliable online sources, posting false news and extortion
(o) Online deliveries would be possible disease carriers and unfamiliar deliveries might use illegal drugs to commit theft and robbery
(p) Robbery case with cars or motorcycles by wearing a face mask to cover the face
(q) Increase in possibility of domestic violence among the family members and those who share living at the dormitory amid long period of home-stay

3. Therefore, people are suggested to abide by the following points of advice

(a) Not to open attached files in unfamiliar emails and links
(b) Regular inspection of emails and databases, and online/offline backup
(c) Using secure passwords
(d) Update antivirus software and software of computers
(e) Tightening security of social media account
(f) Checking security of network at home
(g) Educating children and family members about online security
(h) High security alert to prevent robbery on the roads with no passers-by and domestic violence
4. People are advised to report on suspected actions in residential areas to police and patrols, administrative bodies and officials, and phone calls to nearby police station while keeping alert on possible crimes and offences of immoral businessperson.

Myanmar Police Force

(Translated by Aung Khin)

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