February 17th 2014
As the Met Office warns of further heavy rain and high winds to add to the misery of thousands already affected by floods, we are issuing our own warning about being on the lookout for fraudulent requests for donations to relief efforts.
Natural disasters always give scammers an opportunity to come out of the woodwork at times like this. They are not only appealing to the better nature of members of the public and small businesses who want to help, but shamelessly exploiting the misfortunes of those whose homes and businesses have been ruined.
Some phishing emails and social media posts appear to be genuine requests from fake charities or even the government appealing to you to 'donate' by card or bank transfer. Others are designed to gain your personal or financial information. Still more include malicious code designed to infect computers with viruses, spyware, or Trojan horses … either in links or as attachments.Messages coming from or containing unknown or unusual email addresses and telephone numbers
Always be wary of messages containing spelling errors or poor grammar, requests to donate by way of money transfer or messages containing attachments. Do not click on links, but type the website address you want into the browser. Ensure that payment pages are secure by having the 'https://' prefix and a locked padlock in the address bar.
We are not aware of any current government or charity flood relief appeals.