Editor’s Note: The following post is an excerpt of a full report. To read the entire analysis, click here to download the report as a PDF.
This report provides a high-level overview of cyber threats affecting veteran charity organizations in 2021 to include analysis of sample malicious domains, who is affected, and what individuals can do to protect themselves and others from falling for these types of scams.
Executive SummaryVeterans and their charitable donors have become the targets of many types of financial scam operations in recent years. These operations benefit from two emotional avenues by which to exploit victims: veterans struggling to support themselves, and those who wish to help veterans through charitable giving. Per Recorded Future data, we have found that veterans and their supporters are likely targeted by scams or spam associated with newly registered domains. We also identified an example of a scam operation called Protect Our Veterans SP, which uses several vectors to target veterans and their supporters, including fake charity, political action committee (PAC), and job scams. Finally, through psycholinguistic analysis, we have identified words, phrases, and syntax used on scam sites that indicate malicious intent by scam operators. To help those seeking to help veterans avoid falling prey to these operations, we offer several recommendations, such as how to research charitable organizations effectively and how to spot potential scams or spam based on their language and platform.
- Per a review of potential domain abuse targeting veterans and their supporters, Recorded Future uncovered several domains linked to spam or phishing and a group of domains referencing “veteran affairs” that were linked via website infrastructure to a much larger group of domains targeting individuals interested in financial assistance or better work and educational opportunities.
- We found a possible scam operation advertising itself as a nonprofit charity organization called Protect Our Veterans SP, which bears several common characteristics of different types of scams, including fake charity, political action committee (PAC), and job scams.
- Together, these examples show that veterans and their supporters face cyber threats from several sources.