Unfortunately, it is common for cyber criminals to capitalize on natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) warns users to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Harvey. Cyber criminals will often include links or attachments that route users to phishing or malware-infected websites in emails relating to newsworthy events. DHS also warns of “duplicitous charitable organizations” that arise after natural disasters.

DHS recommends:

  • Reviewing the Federal Trade Commission’s information on Wise Giving in the Wake of Harvey;
  • Not following unsolicited web links in email messages;
  • Using caution in opening email attachments, as set forth in Using Caution with Email Attachments;
  • Keeping antivirus and other computer software up to date; and
  • Verifying the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number.

For more information, view DHS’ warning or contact Sara Chelette.