Catastrophes like Hurricane Harvey bring out the best and worst of us — and the latter has been on display in the form of heightened phishing attempts in the wake of the storm.
Basic empathy and human kindness have compelled countless individuals to donate their money, time, and resources to relief efforts for the hurricane’s victims. Unfortunately, however, opportunists have used the disaster to seek out profits at the expense of others, running scams and trying to fraud victims by taking advantage of both the vulnerability and goodwill of others.
Fraudulent contractors are a common threat to watch for amid the overwhelming need for hurricane repair services. Phony rental listings are also exceedingly common as those displaced by the storm search for temporary accommodations. And of particular concern within cyberspace, bogus charities are using phishing tactics to bilk well-intentioned good Samaritans out of money intended to support the disaster victims.
If you are considering a donation to a charity organization supporting Hurricane Harvey victims, here are a few best practices to follow so you can becoming a victim yourself:
- Follow the general guidelines for avoiding phishing attempts. Use trusted security software, don’t email personal information and make sure you are on a secure web address.
- Find a reputable charity you would like to donate to, then navigate to its website directly. Similarly, if you have received an email that’s supposedly from a charitable organization, do not click on links within the email; seek out the charity’s website yourself.
- Do not open email attachments in emails related to the disaster.
- Don’t trust alleged charity organizations that appear to have popped up specifically in response to Hurricane Harvey.
- Follow the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines on wise charitable giving practices.
We can’t stop a few bad apples from trying to prey on the kindness of others. But we can make sure those individuals come away empty-handed.
At the organizational level, we at Lunarline help employers bring their workforces up to speed to keep up with cyber fraudsters’ latest techniques so they can protect themselves and their companies. For more information on how we can help you, contact one of our experts online today.