It is no secret how even the world’s most unfortunate tragedies such as air crashes, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis are capitalized on by cybercriminals to employ scams and extort money.
Thus, with the recent earthquake disaster that befell Nepal, citizens are encouraged to be more cautious and vigilant with probable scams associated with the incident.
Below is a list of some scams that one might encounter:
Gathering and reading news or updates relating to the disaster and relief efforts through clicking email links or media posts may possibly lead to opening email attachments or pop-ups that will trick into opening and downloading malware files. It is still best to visit a trusted news website rather than clicking through a link found on an email message to keep one posted with the happenings.
Commonly found posted through Facebook, “breaking news footage” and “shocking videos” serve as ruse for users to “like” and “share” the post and participate in an online survey before being given access to show the actual videos. The scammers earn commissions for each victim who participates in the online survey. Users are enjoined to advise their family and friends not to fall for this scam.
And the most commonly exploited means of scamming- donations. While messages may seem legitimate at a glance because of reflected logos and contact details of known charities, the actual donation request is a ruse that will require you to provide your credit card details and personal information which will then be used by cybercriminals to extort money and not for monetary assistance to the Nepal earthquake survivors. It is highly recommended to only course donations through legitimate institutions such as Red Cross by logging in directly to their website rather than through an email.