Harvey scams

National Guard soldier shakes hands with man outside flooded home

The Postal Service is encouraging employees to beware of fake charities seeking donations for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Scammers often use high-profile natural disasters to con money and financial information from people eager to help. The USPS CyberSecurity Operations Center (CSOC) has already received reports of such attempts.

To avoid falling prey to fake charities, employees should follow these guidelines:

• Work with trusted organizations. Research the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster database to ensure charity organizations are legitimate.

• Verify the sender. Scrutinize Hurricane Harvey donation emails before clicking on links or opening attachments.

• Ensure anti-virus software is up to date. Connect postal computers to the USPS intranet and follow instructions to receive software updates, a requirement explained in Handbook AS-805-C: Information Security Requirements for All Personnel.

The Federal Trade Commission’s site offers additional tips for safely contributing to the hurricane relief effort.

The CyberSafe at USPS sites on Blue and LiteBlue and USPSCyberSafe.com have more information.

If you encounter any suspicious messages on postal computers or mobile devices, report it immediately to CSOC at cybersafe@usps.gov.