For Immediate Release
January 5, 2005
FBI National Press Office
TSUNAMI DISASTER RELIEF FRAUD ALERT
Washington, D.C. - The FBI today is alerting the public to a variety of scams currently being facilitated online involving the solicitation of additional relief funds for the victims of the recent Tsunami disaster. The FBI, through the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), has received reports of websites being established purportedly to assist with collection and relief efforts. Complaints submitted to the IC3 have identified several schemes that involve both unsolicited in-coming emails (SPAM), as well as reports of responses to posted email addresses, to assist for a fee, in locating loved ones who may have been a victim of the disaster. A fraudulent relief donation website has also been detected containing an imbedded Trojan exploit which can infect the user's computer with a virus if accessed.
The FBI, in conjunction with domestic with international law enforcement and industry partners, take seriously these egregious actions and are resolved to aggressively pursuing those who would attempt to victimize philanthropic individuals.
The IC3 is cautioning citizens against participating in this type of on-line correspondence. Consistent with previous guidance on incidents of Phishing/Spoofing and Identity Theft, when considering on-line options for providing funding to this relief effort consumers should consider the following:
Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails.
Be skeptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking for help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
To ensure that contributions to U.S. based non-profit organizations are used for intended purposes, go directly to recognized charities and aid organizations websites, as opposed to following a link to another site.
Attempt to verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations by utilizing various Internet based resources which may assist in confirming the existence of the organization as well as its non-profit status.
Be leery of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from know senders.
Several variations of this scam are currently in circulation. Anyone who has received an email referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via the website, www.ic3.gov.
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01-10-2005, 01:54 PM #1
Tsunami Disaster Relief Fraud AlertA positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
01-11-2005, 01:26 AM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
I'm too tired and can't find the article right now, but yesterday there was a news report out of Toronto about a man going door to door with fake Red Cross ID, collecting money on behalf of a Christian organization. I'll look for it tomorrow.September 11th - Never Forget
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
RAY WAS HERE FIRST
01-11-2005, 02:18 AM #3
How incredibly sad that some people could have such a dark side to take advantage of other people's acts of kindness. And just as sad is that it never seems to take too long for these people to surface, either.
01-11-2005, 07:09 AM #4
Police: New version of old scam exploits tsunami
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- South African police warned Monday that fraudsters posing as Tsunami victims are soliciting funds worldwide through letters and e-mails in a new variation of an old African scam.
More than 4 million such letters have been circulated, the first sent out the day the disaster happened December 26, the commercial branch of the South African Police Service said in a statement.
At least 15 variations exist, including one claiming to be from residents of a destroyed Indonesian village, and another from an individual claiming to be helping victims, police Superintendent Ronnie Naidoo said.
Recipients are asked to transfer money into a bank account.
"Please be aware that once the money has been sent, it will never reach the real victims of the disaster," police said in the statement.
The letters are modeled on Nigeria's notorious "419" scams -- named for an entry in the west African country's legal code -- the statement said.
Nigerian and other fraudsters posing as top officials have for years been sending letters and e-mails offering to cut recipients into business deals. They either demand an upfront payment to join, or ask for details of a bank account where the fraudsters' cash can be stashed -- with the account owners' money plundered instead.
Some of the same fraudsters are believed to be behind the latest letters, along with others from Asia and other parts of the world, Naidoo said.Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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