Yuma, Arizona - Major events, like Hurricane Dorian, tend to attract malicious individuals who use a devastating event for their gain.  Internet watch groups and cyber security experts have already identified multiple fake domains/websites and charity efforts taking advantage of Hurricane Dorian.

The Yuma Police Department wants to remind everyone to:

Stay vigilant:

  • Be especially cautious of emails, social media, and websites that claim to provide new, sensational information, pictures, or video because they may contain malicious software, and
  • Be wary of emails and social media asking you to donate to charities.  The charities may be fraudulent, and the provided links may go to spoofed charity websites.  

Common scams and malicious messages include:

  • Fake Facebook and Go Fund Me pages
  • Fake charities
  • Tweets requesting charity donations
  • Phishing emails pretending to come from animal shelters and religious organizations, and
  • Malicious emails promising shocking, sensational pictures or video.

Listed below are a few indicators that an email may be a phishing scam.

  • Unofficial “From” address. Look at the sender’s email address.  Does it come from the organization or is it similar to, but not the same as the organization’s official email address, such as redcrooss.org instead of redcross.org.
  • Urgent action required. Be wary of emails requiring you to act immediately.  If you don’t act now, some dire action will occur or you’ll lose out on a great opportunity.
  • Requests for personal information. Legitimate companies do not ask you to verify or provide confidential information in an unsolicited email.
  • Wrong look and feel. While the “quality” of phishing scams has improved, many still come with spelling errors, poor grammar, and poor graphics.

You can check out charities with http://give.org/, the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.