FBI Warns Of Online Charity ScamsBy Home Security Source Mar 22, 2011 | 10:00:00 amPosted in: Personal Safety
With thousands of online images and videos reflecting the shocking aftermath of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it’s hard to peel our eyes away. There has been an outpour of response from all over the world to help with disaster relief. Unfortunately, scammers use this as an opportunity to prey.
This is nothing new, after Hurricane Katrina; the FBI tracked thousands of fake charity websites seeking donations for relief efforts. Here are some specific scams that have been popping up in very popular places, especially Facebook.
‘Japanese Tsunami RAW Tidal Wave Footage'
You may have noticed links in your Facebook news feed that say "Japanese Tsunami RAW Tidal Wave Footage'. Turns out, it is not actual news coverage, it’s a scam. You may be tricked into "liking" the page and then filling out personal information which propels the scam. The term for this is like-jacking.
‘Japanese Tsunami Launches Whale into Building’
This scam tempts you to click with its juicy headline promising shocking images from the tsunami. But once you click, you are then asked to fill out a survey which in turn earns commission for the scammer and tells your entire friend list that you “like” the video which keeps it going. This particular scam is called click-jacking.
Scams that Infiltrate your Inbox
Legitimate charities are forbidden to solicit donations through email lists. So be wary if you receive email donation requests. A recent example is one email with the subject line "Japan Tsunami Appeal -- British Red Cross" from what appeared to be a legitimate British Red Cross email address. But it asks the recipient to send money - via MoneyBookers - to a rather questionable personal Yahoo! email address.
Check out tips to avoid charity scams from personal security and identity theft expert Robert Siciliano.
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