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Beware Charity Scams

Sadly, when tragedies happen, con-artists and thieves take advantage of the kind-hearted.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we have seen an increase in malicious emails and websites targeting those who want to lend a helping hand. Please be wary of those seeking to exploit your interest to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Harvey, even if it appears to be sent from a trusted source. Fraudulent emails often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from deceitful charitable organizations commonly appear after major natural disasters.

Use care when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect yourselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:

  • Do not follow unknown hyperlinks in received emails.
  • Do not open mail attachments. Refer to the US-CERT Tip Using Caution with Email Attachments to find out how to handle email attachments safely.
  • Keep all computer software up-to-date, including antivirus and operating systems.
  • Do not fall victim to social engineering attacks. Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for more information.
  • Be aware of various scams involving charities by reading the Federal Trade Commission article on Charity Scams.

 

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