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Scammers Take Over During Disasters

Posted on March 20, 2011 by admin No Comments

The Internet is known for many things, but one insecure problem we know of is scammers. They tend to make the most of a hard situation by
scamming other visitors of their cash and credentials.

Scam e-mails are circulating that look like they come from the British Red Cross seeking donations for Japanese earthquake and tsunami survivors (Credit: AppRiver)

Recently, a study has shown that such scammers are found to be most
active during disasters such as the Japan crisis. E-mails, claiming to have
been sent by the British Red Cross, are under circulation containing a
modified address pointing to a non-donation account.

These emails are normally from the British or Japanese Red Cross but can be
of any source. They provide a short insight into the current situation in
Japan and urge people to donate to a bank account nowhere connected to
the Japanese Red Cross. Scammers tend to use as much sources of credit as
possible so you may see multiple methods of donating.

To identify a real charity site, check the sender’s e-mail address to see if the
email has the charity website’s domain name and in the email check if the
charity sends you to a secure and valid link to their site. If none of them
seem right, it may not be a valid charity.

E-mails that urge people to donate through random and bizarre payment
systems are a huge give-away to a scammer’s exploitation. Such addresses
on the email may contain a phished link (fake look-alike of the original). Be
sure to always check the address bar to see if it points to a legitimate
charity’s website.

Here are a few tips to ensure that you will be safe from such scammers and
phishers:

• Always check the links provided in e-mails and see if they point to a valid
charity and cross-check the e-mail address of the sender to identify the
charity’s domain.

• Never reply such e-mails with sensitive information such as your bank
account number, credentials, social security number etc. They’re very
valuable information to a scammer.

• Always update your sensitive software like Anti-Viruses, Operating
Systems, and Firewalls etc. to their latest version to ensure security.

• Double check the charity you are about to donate too from various
sources. If they do not have multiple valid sources, they are most probably a
fake charitable trust.

• Be aware of basic charitable trust information and how they work.
Knowing the anatomy of an organization can be very beneficial in terms like
safety. For example, charitable organizations tend to have the ‘.org’ domain
instead of a ‘.com’ domain.

• You have the right to ask questions to the charity about how your money
is being used up and how much actually goes to charity.

• Always use credit cards and check instead of using payment terminals such
as PayPal or sending cash via mail. Credit cards have lesser chances of being
scammed noticing the security systems upgraded for the method.

• In conclusion, if you ever want to donate to a charity for a good cause just
look up a valid and legitimate charity on Google which has multiple good
sources of reviews and donate to them.

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