FBI warns of scams offering to help Chinese quake victims

Donors reminded to use legitimate Web sites for donations

The FBI is warning Americans looking to send donations in the aftermath of the massive May 12 earthquake in China to beware of a rising number of e-mail scams that tout "relief" efforts.

In an announcement Tuesday, the FBI said that some of the e-mail scams even offer "free vacation trips to the largest donors," while using fake logos of legitimate online pay services to steal money from unsuspecting donors.

Similar fake e-mail campaigns occur after every major disaster, including the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, last year's Minneapolis Interstate bridge collapse and the recent cyclone in Myanmar, according to the FBI.

"The more awareness there is to these kinds of things, the better off we are so that people don't get lured in," said Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman. "Whenever there is some tragic event, these scam artists come out to do their business. It may not be apparent to unwitting victims."

After hearing of such disasters, many people can be taken in by e-mails that purport to raise relief funds, Bresson said. "It may be the last thing on their minds that they are getting duped," he said.

E-mail recipients were reminded by the FBI to:

  • Never respond to unsolicited e-mails purporting to be about relief efforts.

  • Stay skeptical of anyone who claims that they are officially soliciting donations via e-mail.

  • Never click on links in an unsolicited e-mail because malicious software can be triggered to launch attacks on your computer.

  • Never click on attachments that purport to contain photos in attached files.

Go directly to established and well-known the Web sites of legitimate relief agencies to make donations. Don't rely on others to solicit donations and pass them on in your behalf. And use your Web browser to navigate directly to sites rather than clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails that could redirect you to illegitimate sites.

Never provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Todd R. Weiss

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?