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Warning signs

Fraudsters use recent disasters to scam consumers

Responders on the scene of a disaster
Some online offers to help victims of natural disasters could be scams, experts warn.

The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to watch out for online scams promising to help victims of the recent earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan.

Fraudsters are using phishing emails, phone calls and other methods to scam donations from unaware consumers.

To protect yourself, the CyberSafe at USPS team and the Postal Inspection Service offer these tips:

  • Review emails, phone calls and social media messages to determine if they’re legitimate.
  • Don’t click on links embedded in unfamiliar emails.
  • Never provide personal or business information to unknown users.
  • Refer to the Better Business Bureau’s list of trusted organizations before donating to a charity.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue site has additional information security tips, while the Postal Inspection Service’s site has more guidance on avoiding charity fraud.

Employees should report suspicious activity by emailing the CyberSecurity Operations Center at

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