Sheriff Gerace warns about potential tragic-event related scams

MAYVILLE — In the wake of Sunday’s tragic event in Las Vegas, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office warns computer users to be watchful for various malicious cyber activity targeting both victims and potential donors.

Residents should exercise caution when handling emails that relate to the event, even if those emails appear to originate from trusted sources.

Event-related phishing emails may trick users into sharing sensitive information.

Scam emails could also contain links or attachments directing users to malware-infected websites. In addition, users should be wary of social media pleas, calls, texts, fraudulent donation websites, and door-to-door solicitations relating to the recent tragic event.

How you can be generous to legitimate charities and avoid getting scammed:

¯ Be skeptical of emails or social media posts asking for donations.

¯ Do not respond to an unsolicited email.

¯ Do not click on any links or open attachments from an unsolicited email.

¯ Make donations with credit cards or checks made out to a specific organization. Do not use cash or pre-paid cards.

¯ Do not allow someone to pressure you into donating. Credible organizations won’t try to guilt you.

¯ Check to make sure the charity is registered in your state. Often, the state will list this information on its official website.

¯ Check the charity’s rating as posted through a reputable, independent site.

¯ Review information from the Federal Trade Commission on Charity Giving, which includes links to check if charity organizations are legitimate.

For more information, go to www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity.

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