Scam Of The Week: Hurricane Harvey Charity Fraud

The Stetson University Information Technology department will begin sharing helpful security awareness news every week, to help you better protect Stetson and yourselves in the cyber security world. Cyber security is a shared responsibility among all of us, and this weekly letter will keep you apprised of some of the most common scams.

Hurricane Harvey hit hard and especially Houston, Texas, got badly flooded. The death toll is rising and you can also count on someone to exploit this disaster. Disgusting.

Scammers are now using the Hurricane Harvey disaster to trick people into clicking on links, both on Facebook, Twitter and phishing emails trying to solicit charitable giving for the flood victims. Here are some examples:

  • Facebook pages dedicated to victim relief contain links to scam websites.
  • Tweets are going out with links to charitable websites soliciting donations, but in reality included spam links or links that lead to a malware infection.
  • Phishing emails dropping in a user’s inbox asking for donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Fund.

Previous disasters have been exploited like this, and the bad guys are going at it again will all guns blazing. Be wary of anything online covering the Hurricane Harvey disaster in the following weeks.

I suggest you send friends and family an email about this Scam Of The Week, feel free to copy/paste/edit:

“Heads-up! Bad guys are exploiting the Hurricane Harvey disaster. There are fake Facebook pages, tweets are going out with fake charity websites, and phishing emails are sent out asking for donations to #HurricaneHarvey Relief Funds.

Don’t fall for any scams. If you want to make a donation, go to the website of the charity of your choice and make a donation. Type the address in your browser or use a bookmark. Do not click on any links in emails or text you might get. Whatever you see in the coming weeks about Hurricane Harvey disaster relief … THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK.

If you have questions about cyber security, please feel free to contact I.T. at or 386-822-7217.