Phishing scam
Phishing scamiStock

A large-scale phishing attack has targeted Israelis recently, using the coronavirus crisis to steal their personal information, Ynet reported.

According to the report, the first step in the scam is the sending of fake SMS messages to Israelis saying that they have been in contact with a verified coronavirus patient and have to go into isolation.

The attackers then called the recipients of the message, impersonated representatives of the Health Minister and asked to "verify" the identities of the victims using their ID number.

It is believed that the attackers had gained access to the victims' credit card information through a large-scale hack and needed the ID numbers to be able to make purchases using that information. Victims have reportedly lost thousands and even tens of thousands of shekels to the hackers.

The Health Ministry said in response: "The Health Ministry is aware of the issue. Recently, there have been a few cases of attempts to impersonate ministry representatives in order to obtain ID numbers of the public. The ministry is working on technological solutions to maintain a secure process. The ministry considers this a top-priority task, and is doing everything in its power to provide an appropriate response as soon as possible."