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Fraudsters could target people’s sympathy for Dorian victims

Local News

(Jason Lee/The Sun News via AP)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The office of the U.S. attorney for Rhode Island is warning people to watch out for “malicious cyber activity” as would-be scammers are likely to target victims of Hurricane Dorian, or people who could potentially donate to purported charitable causes.

Online users should be wary of social media pleas, texts, or door-to-door solicitations relating to severe weather events, U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman said Friday.

“We have all seen the heartbreaking pictures and heard the heart-wrenching details of the devastation hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing in the wake of Hurricane Dorian,” Weisman said. “Sadly, there are always heartless, greedy individuals waiting to pounce on the kindness of others and victimize them.”

Users should be cautious of emails with a hurricane-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink.

Crooks may also appear among cleanup or repair services, job postings, or rental listings, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC also has guides on staying safe in giving to a legitimate charity, on social networking sites, and avoiding “phishing” attacks.

If you believe you may have been targeted by cybercriminals, the U.S. attorney’s office says you should file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.

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