Over the past several days, the big story in the US has been Category 4 Hurricane Harvey and the flooding and destruction it is leaving in its wake. As with most disasters, Harvey has stirred up the desire in many people to find a way to help with the relief efforts. Unfortunately, this also opens the doors to scammers who want to exploit this generosity.
Our Security Training partner, KnowBe4, sent out a notification to us this week encouraging us to share this message:
Heads-up! Bad guys are exploiting the Hurricane Harvey disaster. There are fake Facebook pages, tweets are going out with fake charity websites, and phishing emails are sent out asking for donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Funds.
Don't fall for any scams. If you want to make a donation, go to the website of the charity of your choice and make a donation. Type the address in your browser or use a bookmark. Do not click on any links in emails or text you might get. Whatever you see in the coming weeks about Hurricane Harvey disaster relief... THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK.
News organizations are also publishing articles about how you can help, encouraging individuals to do their research, and suggesting charities accepting donations specifically for Harvey relief efforts. Another good resource is Charity Navigator’s “Tips For Giving In Times Of Crisis”. This article outlines more ways to ensure your donation is being used for the work you want it to be used for, and to avoid potential scams.