Chief's Corner

Police Chief's Corner - Newsletter
September 2017

Potential Hurricane Recovery Scams

Natural disasters generally bring out the best in people. Watching the news recently, you see people helping people, neighbors helping neighbors, and even total strangers lending a helping hand, to folks who desperately need assistance.

Unfortunately, if history is any judge, it also brings out the worst in people . Following any natural disaster, unscrupulous folks try to take advantage of interest in and sympathy for the victims of a disaster, and try to get your personal information and or hard earned money. Just because an email or a phone call sounds like a legitimate organization, doesn't mean it is the organization contacting you. Following any natural disaster there will be an increase in phishing (pronounced fishing) scams, and phone calls. Here are some tips from the Department of Homeland Security.

Users are advised to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to recent Hurricane recovery, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source. Fraudulent emails will often contain links or attachments that direct users to phishing or malware-infected websites. Emails requesting donations from duplicitous charitable organizations commonly appear after major natural disasters.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to use caution when encountering these types of email messages and take the following preventative measures to protect themselves from phishing scams and malware campaigns:

  1. Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
  2. Use caution when opening email attachments.
  3. Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to-date.
  4. Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact informaiton for many charities on the Better Business Bureau National Charity Report Index.

IRS Launches "Don't Take the Bait" Series Against Phishing Epidemic

Amid rising phishing (pronounced fishing) attacks, the Internal Revenue Service is starting a campaign advising tax professionals to increase their computer security. To read the IRS press Release, click here.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), part of the Department of Homeland Security, has issued a number of Security Tips for Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks. Click here to read more.