Scams! Scams are everywhere! What’s really disheartening are donation scams. You believe you are giving money to a great cause, but some take your money and run. Victims of Hurricane Florence do need the assistance. Please do your research before donating.
Examine the Website
There are many websites that pose as a Hurricane Relief Fund. Some described in Krebs have domain names such as hurricaneflorencerelieffund-dot-com and hurricanflorence-dot-org registered from GoDaddy. They have PayPal accounts attached to these sites for donations, but if you call their number or email them its like radio silence on the other end.
You won’t receive a reply or a callback. Most of the time, this information is not provided on their sites. If you examine the web addresses closely, there are clues pointing out its illegitimacy.
Beware All Threat Artists
It’s not just the illegitimate you need to watch out for. Cybercriminals look at these natural disasters like stealing candy from a baby. They get creative with their phishing campaigns and malware schemes. Stay alert when opening up emails from charities. These may seem heartfelt and genuine, but hackers know the psychology to trick good people into doing what they want.
Never click on links or download attachments from emails you did not expect nor trust. It only takes one click to download malware that may send personal information back to the hacker.
There are a few ways to spot out a fake charity while you are out and about. A donation scam will ask for cash, use a close name to a familiar charity, and use pressure to get you to donate. If you are looking to donate online, check out websites like charitynavigator.org and give.org. Both sites are supported by the government and charities. You can just type in the name of the charity you are interested in aiding to find out if it’s legitimate.