Information Technology News
FBI Warns of E-mail Relief Scams
Note: This story may not be current. It is part of the IT News Archive, and exists as a historical document.
Since late May 2008, there have been several natural disasters throughout the country. Individuals across the nation often feel a desire to help, frequently through monetary donations. Unfortunately, these events have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for charitable organizations and good causes. Before making a donation of any kind, consumers should consider the following:
TIPS ON AVOIDING FRAUDULENT CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION SCHEMES
- Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
- Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via e-mail for donations.
- Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
- Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
- To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
- Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
- Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
- Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.
To obtain more information on charitable contribution schemes and other types of online scams, visit: