The National Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warns people to remain vigilant for malicious cyber activity seeking to exploit interest following natural disasters. Cybercriminals use these situations to steal personal information by taking advantage of vulnerable infrastructures, disaster victims and volunteers through phishing schemes.
Phishing attempts are made to look like messages from reputable sources but are used to obtain personal information such as credit card and Social Security numbers. These online scams often contain attachments or links directing users to malicious websites. Exercise caution in handling any email or social post with a subject line, attachments or hyperlinks related to the natural disaster - even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.
Phishing can also occur offline. You should be wary of fraudulent calls, texts, donation websites and door-to-door solicitations as well.
If you ever receive a suspicious phone call or email asking about your Farm Bureau Insurance® policy or account information, hang up and call a customer service representative at 1-800-799-7500 before providing any information.
Other possible scams to watch for following disasters include contractor fraud and abuse and price gouging.
Regardless of the situation, it is best to always keep your guard up and verify the legitimacy of any solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number.
Take time to review the following trusted resources for more information on phishing scams and malware campaigns: