Tragedies and Malicious Actors: Investigate Before You Send Your Credit Card


Several tragedies of recent have provided opportunities for people to reach out and give to help those affected.  Giving online has become easier because of technology and  its also becoming the means of choice.  Unfortunately, this also affords those who have a bad purpose to take advantage of tragic circumstances with scams.  According to a recent release from National Cyber Awareness System, there are already some who are trying to take advantage of the Boston Marathon tragedy and those who are willing to contribute.   How can they do this?  By registering fake domain names and fake social media accounts.  The US-CERT had this to say:

For example, Twitter account
@_BostonMarathon was created shortly after the explosions took place.
The account stated it would donate $1 for each retweet, and was crafted
to closely resemble the legitimate Boston Marathon Twitter account
(@BostonMarathon). This account has since been suspended by Twitter;
however, the likelihood that similar social media accounts will surface
remains high.

US-CERT recommends that you look to official charities if you wish to donate money to support those affected by tragedies, especially those that have recently happened, such as the Boston Marathon bombing,  the West, Texas Fertilizer plant explosion and the Beaumont, Texas Oil Refinery fire.

Use caution when clicking links or interacting with social media accounts that claim to be representing a charity for a recent tragedy or need.   Do your homework.  Check out legitimate news agencies for verification or trusted  local organizations and churches.

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