Don’t Make Online Donations to Scammers

Be careful when giving your donation to the victims of the Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti causing an unknown number of deaths and other damage to the country. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has already announced about scam e-mails, circulating on the Internet that ask people to send the money for this “good reason”. To be more precise, these letters are known to be a 419-style e-mails that are named after the number of a statute in Nigeria’s criminal code banning this practice.

In this situation, scam e-mails use a real London organization’s address which has nothing to do with collecting donations through the Western Union money transfer service. According to a malware data analyst Mathew Nisbet, all the money send using instructions written in the scam e-mails are invented and will never reach victims in Haiti. Contrary, only the cyber criminals will be supported with these contributions.

What is more, some of the scammers trying to trick people into visiting malicious websites with fake anti-spyware inside also use the tragedy in Haiti. Fake websites with information related to the earthquake are illegally returned to the first page of the search engines. When entered, they usually redirect victims to the malicious websites with advertisements offering various fake anti-spyware programs. PC users are expected to fall into this trick and purchase the program that usually does not provide any security services. Moreover, malware can also be downloaded unexpectedly to the machine from such domains and additionally, people are completely bombarded with pop-up ads and warning messages.

The FBI highly recommends making contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on such unknown people. Avoid clicking on suspicious links in email messages and remember that typing web addresses directly into browser is much more secure than clicking on links.

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