Cybersecurity Alert: Hurricane Matthew Phishing Scams

October 12, 2016

Threat Summary

Officials in South Carolina and other states are warning residents of potential phishing scams in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Some of the phishing scams to look out for include:

  • Emails claiming to contain outage updates via a phony URL.
  • Emails, phone calls, and text messages claiming to be from a phony charitable organization.

ACA Aponix Guidance

ACA Aponix recommends taking the following precautionary measures to protect yourself from phishing threats, particularly those related to Hurricane Matthew or other natural disasters:

  • Check links contained in emails by hovering over them before clicking, and do not open attachments included in unsolicited emails.
  • Make sure antivirus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date.
  • Train employees on how to prevent phishing threats.
  • Donate only to established charities with which you are familiar, and those who have a long history of responding to local, national, and international disasters.
  • Directly search for and find reputable charities rather than donating via links in unsolicited emails (e.g., search for "Red Cross Matthew" rather than donating via an email that claims to be from the Red Cross).
  • Be sure online credit card payments are secured with "https" and a lock icon.
  • Be cautious of telephone solicitations, either from a telemarketer or someone calling directly from a charity. Ask if they are registered in your state, and verify the information online.
  • Do not give a credit card number or personal information over the phone or by text message. Do not be pressured into making contributions, as reputable charities do not use such tactics.

If you have any questions, please contact your ACA Aponix consultant or email us at info@acaaponix.com.