Idea: Create resource with list of potential Covid19 scams

There is increasing coverage of scams related to the Covid19 pandemic, including e-mails containing malware or websites that offer fake shipment of protective equipment like masks. Check out this article for an overview; apparently there even exists a fake version of the John Hopkins Map that installs Malware, see here (article is in German).

I did a quick web search and I did not find any online resource that bundles information on fraudulent web addresses etc. There is a newsletter from the FTC, see FTC website, but it is only focused on the U.S.

It might be a worthwhile effort to set up a website that collects such information and links to national initiatives like the FTC’s newsletter. Eventually this could be expanded by having a web scraper that looks for potential fraudulent web-addresses or similar.

I am not a web-developer, so it does not make sense for me to take the lead on this, but I would be happy to contribute some help if someone who is more experienced in this thinks it makes sense to work on this issue. If you know of similar efforts that are underway already, please provide links in the comments.


Software developer here. I think this is something useful for anyone especially at a time when almost everyone is vulnerable and can be take advantage of.
However, it boils down to having that list of potential scams.
Can we start a Google Sheets that can act as a data source for the planned website or whatever UI is suggested for the resource.

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I agree, that would be the best starting point and could easily be migrated to some other solution if necessary. How would you handle this w.r.t. edit permissions?

I could create the Google Sheet, then add anyone who wants to access that data as viewer. But just a few as editors. Maybe a form to provide new suggestions and request read access for anyone else.
Anyone with read access (a viewer) can use the Sheets API to get the data programmatically.
But limited write access.

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Ok, that would be great!

I can go ahead and look for some examples of fraudulent web sites tomorrow so we have some initial data which can also be used as test data for the read and write APIs.

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Sure thing.
Share the link or add my email to the Sheet as soon as you create and begin populating it.
Or vice versa then you can share your email (Gmail) instead.

What do you think about creating a static website on e.g. GitHub (
That way we could just use normal merge requests for updates and the hosting itself would be free.

This was also one of the first options I considered. Thinking about this more, a nice feature is that one could expand this with CI that e.g. checks if the lists are still up to date or similar things.

The first section in this newsletter from the c3cert has a lot of references on this topic. (The newsletter itself is in German but the references are mostly English so google translate should be sufficient for nongerman speakers (if not please let me know).)

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