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Posted on: September 11, 2017

Hurricane Scams

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Due to the recent increase in disasters, malicious actors have already begun scamming people under the guise of helping those affected by these events.

These scams generally take the form of fake websites, phishing, increased social engineering activity, and malware associated with the high profile event.

For instance, there have already been 743 domain names registered with the name “Irma.”

To keep yourself safe and to ensure your resources actually go to those suffering during these events, consider following these guidelines:

  • Verify information before trusting or reacting to posts seen on social media. Malicious actors often use social media to post false information or links to malicious websites.
  • Exercise extreme caution when responding to individual pleas for financial assistance such as those posted on social media, crowd funding websites, or in an email, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source. When making donations, users should consult the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website at https://www.nvoad.org for a list of vetted disaster relief organizations.
  • Be cautious of emails or websites that claim to provide information, pictures, and videos.
  • Do not open unsolicited (spam) emails or click on the links or attachments in those emails.
  • Never reveal personal or financial information in an email or to an untrusted website.
  • Do not go to an untrusted or unfamiliar website to view the event or information regarding it.
  • Malicious websites often imitate a legitimate website, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs .org).

It is highly likely that more scams and malware will follow over the course of the recovery period, so Internet users should exercise caution before opening related emails, clicking links, visiting websites, or making donations to relief efforts.

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