Watch Out for Scams

Scam alert sign

The United States Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert about potential email scams, fake antivirus and phishing attacks regarding the Japan earthquake and the tsunami disasters. The full text appears below:

Subject: INFO-ALERT: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Email Scams,
Fake Anitvirus and Phishing Attack Warning

US-CERT has issued an advisory warning users of potential email scams,
fake antivirus and phishing attacks regarding the Japan earthquake and
the tsunami disasters. Email scams may contain links or attachments
which may direct users to phishing or malware-laden websites. Fake
antivirus attacks may come in the form of pop-ups which flash security
warnings and ask the user for credit card information. Phishing emails
and websites requesting donations for bogus for charitable organizations
commonly appear after these types of natural disasters.

In order to avoid these types threats, the following is recommended:

1. Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.

2. Maintain up-to-date antivirus software.

3. Review the Recognizing Fake Antivirus document for additional information on recognizing fake antivirus:
https://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST10-001.html  

4. Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks document for additional information on social engineering attacks:
http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST04-014.html  

5. Refer to the Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams (pdf) document for additional information on avoiding email scams:
http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/emailscams_0905.pdf  

6. Review the Federal Trade Commission's Charity Checklist:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/telemarketing/tel01.shtm  

7. Verify the legitimacy of the email by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. Trusted contact information can be found on the Better Business Bureau National Charity Report Index:
http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/  

Anthony Cox
State Hazard Assessment Officer
Operations Section
AZ Division of Emergency Management


Spring 2011
Published:
8/12/2011 4:00:45 PM