Scammers and hackers are using the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan to appeal for fraudulent charity donations. US-CERT, the operational arm of the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is warning users regarding fake antivirus and phishing attacks regarding the Japan earthquake and the tsunami disasters. Scammers are also flooding e-mail inboxes with messages asking recipients to donate money to relief efforts.
In Facebook also scams are rocking, If you get a link to something like “Japanese Tsunami RAW Tidal Wave Footage’, don’t click it. It’s a scam. You may be tricked into “liking” the page and then taking a personal info harvesting survey, and then promoting the scam.
Symantec has observed a classic 419 message targeting the Japanese disaster, said researcher Samir Patil in a post to the company’s security blog. “The message is a bogus ‘next of kin’ story that purports to settle millions of dollars owing to an earthquake and tsunami victim.” Hackers have also registered a large number of domains with URLs that may fool users into thinking that they’re legitimate donation or relief sites, said Patil, a tactic that can also push those sites higher on search results.
How to Protect yourself
– Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.
– Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.
– Verify the legitimacy of the email by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number.
– Pay attention to the URL of a website. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain.
– Take advantage of any anti-phishing features offered by your email client and web browser.
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