The millions of dollars donated by individuals to relief efforts in Southeast Asia have brought criminals and scammers out of the woodwork, US government agencies and private anti-fraud groups warned last week, Internetworld.com reported.
Internetworld quotes Jim Lanford, the co-editor of ScamBusters.org in an online alert, saying, “Within hours of the earthquake and tsunami, scams began appearing online and offline. We’re not surprised by these scams. The same thing happened right after 9/11, and after every major natural disaster since then.”
Ploys include e-mails purporting to include photos or video of the disaster and its aftermath; such attachments can, in fact, be worm and/or virus payloads, the FBI warned.
The best advice – don’t click on anything in an email. Instead, go directly to the website of one of the aid/relief organizations. Both the BBC and CNN, for example, have lists of such places on their news sites: