Con artists are always eager to exploit newsworthy events for their own gain, and Monday’s bombing at the Boston Martahon is no exception. Massachussetts Attorney General Martha Coakley was among those warning people to be cautious in the wake of the tragedy, urging would-be donors to “do their homework” before contributing. Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs Barbra Anthony echoed the need for caution, saying, “Our office received reports just this morning that a mere four hours after the attack at the marathon, over 125 domain names were registered to collect money for the victims and several fraudulent twitter accounts were opened asking for money as well.”
Scammers are also using the bombing’s high profile to entice people to click on malicious links that are designed to activate malware on the victims’ computers.
Here are a few safety tips:
- Do not reply to unsolicited email messages.
- Do not click on links in unsolicited email messages.
- Give wisely. If you wish to donate to a charity, contact the charity yourself; do not respond to communications you receive, no matter how legitimate they sound. Choose established, well-known charities and go directly to them to donate.
- Never donate over the telephone. Legitimate charities have numerous ways of receiving donations. There is no reason to donate over the phone and many good reasons not to.
- Websites like Charitynavigator.org and BBB.org/charity can help guide you to legitimate charitable organizations.
(Image: hahatango on flickr)
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