Avoid Disaster, Spot ‘Sandy’ Scammers

By Alyssa Jung
© iStockphoto/Thinkstock

When a disaster hits, people spring into action. As with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the tsunami in Japan, efforts to help victims of last week’s Hurricane Sandy began almost immediately.

But a time when millions of people are vulnerable is also prime time for scamming. One unfortunate example: Police caught a Staten Island man impersonating a Red Cross worker in an attempt to burglarize homes.

Livescience collected some useful tips to avoid Hurricane Sandy scams. Read them here.

Among those you might not have thought of: Malware. Hackers can hide malware in fake news stories or phony videos to steal your personal information or compromise your computer. Avoid video/photo links that promise “shocking disaster video,” especially if you’re prompted to download additional software to view them.

And if you’re looking for a way to lend a hand, check out NY1.com. It has a list of ways to help, with addresses for reputable charitable organizations, donation drop-off sites, and volunteer opportunities.