Beware of Scams in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew

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Columbia, S.C. —People affected by Hurricane Matthew should be aware of potential scams that could come in the form of emails, phone calls, text messages, and others. Scams of this kind are often times used against individuals in areas that have recently been affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew.


Keep the following tips in mind when fielding emails, texts, and phone calls:


§  Do not reply to an e-mail, text or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information. 

§  Do not click on any links in an email or text message or cut and paste the link into your browser. 

§  Do not call a phone number contained in the e-mail or text. 

§  Verify the validity of the communication by contacting the organization directly, with contact information that you've found in the phone book or by going to the company’s website. 

§  Use antivirus or anti-spyware software and a firewall. Make sure to update them regularly. Phishing emails may contain software that can harm your computer or track your activities on the internet.


Consumers are encouraged to report scams to SCDCA either by calling 844-TELL-DCA (835-5322) or visiting and clicking REPORT A SCAM. 

For more information visit or follow @SCEMD on Twitter and Facebook.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security US-CERT

National Cyber Awareness System:


Potential Hurricane Matthew Phishing Scams

10/11/2016 11:51 AM EDT


Original release date: October 11, 2016

US-CERT warns users to remain vigilant for malicious cyber activity seeking to capitalize on interest in Hurricane Matthew. Users are advised to exercise caution in handling any email with subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks related to Hurricane Matthew, 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 deceptive 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:

  • Do not follow unsolicited web links in email messages.
  • Use caution when opening email attachments. Refer to the Using Caution with Email AttachmentsCyber Security Tip for more information on safely handling email attachments.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to-date.
  • Refer to the Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks Cyber Security Tip for more information on social engineering attacks.
  • Review the Federal Trade Commission information on Charity Scams.

Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index.