One of the world's most recognizable nonprofits, the Ford Foundation, has issued a warning to grantees about email scams circulating that claim to come from the foundation and offer money and other rewards.

Although the foundation did not say whether recipients of the email are being scammed into giving up their bank account information to the fraudsters, the threat of spam email to victims shows how nonprofit organizations can be harmed by online threats.

The foundation said it does not ask for any grantee information except for a secure grantee access portal on its website. But scammers can set up fake websites using the logo and name of a company or nonprofit organization to make it appear legitimate.

Email scams potentially damage an organization's reputation while security risks include computer viruses that take over work station PCs and Macs. Organization websites can also be injected with hidden malware programs to infect visitors to the site, steal clicks and redirect users.

Many nonprofit organizations may benefit from outsourcing IT to security and data storage vendors.

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