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Privacy & Security USA > Alerts > Cyber Criminals Take Advantage of Tragedies and Natural Disasters

Cyber Criminals Take Advantage of Tragedies and
Natural Disasters

Any time there are tragedies or natural disasters, incidents involving well-known personalities or any occasions that garner significant media attention, scammers and hackers see an “opportunity”. 

When tragic incidents occur, fraudulent appeals for charitable donations and fake charity sites pop up. When “juicy” stories make the news, websites promising the latest pictures or information quickly surface. For sporting meets and other recurring events or holidays, email scams regularly abound.

The aim is to get you to click on a link or access a scammer’s website, rather than one of the sites you normally visit. The result could be an automatic attempt to secretly load malicious code to your computer. Or the email or website could contain deceptive, convincing tactics to get you to:

  • Download seemingly legitimate software which in reality has hidden damaging code that will play havoc with your computer or capture your personal information; or,
  • Enter your credit card or other personal information that can be used to commit financial fraud against you.  

Help protect yourself from popular scams:

  • Be aware that email scams and malicious websites quickly surface when any news story breaks. 
  • To get the information or news you need, use caution when accessing new sites.
  • Be aware that attackers try to manipulate search engine results in order to get their malicious pages to the top of your search lists.
  • Be very wary of unsolicited email and always be cautious in your online activity.

With care and caution, you can help protect yourself from online criminals.