Such tricks are disturbing on a number of levels. First, what twisted mind would think of such a scam? In California, thousands of people were losing their homes and crooks see it as a good time to line their pockets. Sounds pretty sick.
The level of intelligence exhibited underscores the challenges in combating hackers. They are at least paying attention to the news and understood that many would be touched by the crisis. Also adding text from a legitimate source talking about the fires to the email would make it seem more authentic. In sum, this ploy seems like a well thought hoax, one providing a good opportunity for a quick, easy, and potentially lucrative score.
We are about to enter the holiday season, which is a time that many feel thankful for all that they have received. This festive feeling often leads to companies being in a giving mood. During this season, small and medium companies need to be on guard against electronic submissions, especially those focused on national or local tragedies. Chances are good that hackers are on the other end of such solicitations.
Does your company give to any charities online? How secure do you think the process is? What steps do you take to avoid being scammed?