As the peak of the 2017 hurricane season approaches, please be watchful for fraudsters targeting both disaster victims and potential donors. You should exercise caution when handling emails that relate to recent hurricanes, even if those emails appear to originate from trusted sources. Disaster-related phishing emails will attempt to trick you into sharing sensitive information and could contain links or attachments directing you to malware-infected websites. In addition to emails, you should be wary of social media pleas, calls, texts, or door-to-door solicitations relating to the recent hurricanes.
Anyone with a warm heart for disaster victims should remember these tips:
- Go directly to the websites of reputable disaster relief organizations to donate.
- Do not click directly on links in emails, even if the sender appears to be known and reputable; verify web addresses independently.
- Exercise extreme caution when opening email attachments. Be particularly wary of compressed or ZIP file attachments.