Harvey Scam Example
After every large news event or natural disaster we see the associated scam emails. The first Harvey scam email we've seen showed up the afternoon of Aug. 30. It is a bit surprising it took that long for it to appear, we've been watching closely. Unfortunately many more scam emails and registered domains will shortly follow suit. The example below is very simple but shows predators are out there waiting for any opportunity to pounce. This email originated from South Africa but the phone number is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida number. The address is a legitimate one the scammer could simply find utilizing any search engine. Redcross.us redirects to the real redcross.org site, however, this example's firstname.lastname@example.org address is forged. Replies go to donations@uymail[.]com, which is a free email address service. At AppRiver, our SecureTide spam and virus filtering team works 24/7/365 to block these attacks.
Donation & Safety Tips
- Navigate directly to the legitimate sites or charities you may consider donating to. Type in the address manually instead of clicking links.
- If you aren't sure about a charity, research them first using a third-party watchdog (give.org, charitywatch.org, guidestar.org, or charitynavigator.org).
- Be extremely suspicious of any attachment or link you may receive via email. Contact the sender directly if there is any question.
- If you are an AppRiver customer we will happily investigate any suspicious messages or attachments further for you, please contact us.
- Utilize checks and credit cards for donations directly to the charity itself, not an individual and avoid cash if possible. This creates a paper trail for tax deductions as well.
- Do not give out personal information such as drivers license information, social security number, birth dates, mother's maiden name, etc. This information is used by the bad guys for social engineering their way further into your accounts or ID theft.
Scam Example#2 - Originating from Kenya, usually this type will try to solicit more personal information from you before proceeding.