Be Mindful of Potential Threats In Harvey Aftermath

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas region leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The South Texas communities that have been impacted, including our own team members and local businesses, will be rebuilding for weeks and months to come. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as the water recedes and they’re able to take a true assessment of the damage.

Unfortunately, bad actors are now using the Hurricane Harvey disaster to trick people into clicking false links under the veil of helping storm victims. Some examples we’ve already seen include:

  • Facebook pages dedicated to victim relief that contain links to scam websites.
  • Tweets are going out with links to charitable websites soliciting donations, but in reality, include links to scam sites or links that lead to a malware infection.
  • Phishing emails containing sympathetic messages and then either providing false links to relief resources or donation pages.

While this seems straightforward, people are distracted and can quickly forget certain cyber security best practices that are typically second nature. Remember:

  • 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 directly from their URL. Examples include:
    • American Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org/
    • United Way of Greater Houston – https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/
    • Greater Houston Community Foundation: Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund – https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
  • Type the address in your browser or use a bookmark.
  • Do not click on any links in emails, social media pages, or text messages you might get.
  • Alert your IT department should you receive a phishing scam to ensure they can alert the rest of the organization.

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