More Katrina Scams Than Legitimate Sites, Warns FBI – Be Careful Where You Donate!

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There are more Hurricane Katrina scam sites than legitimate Hurricane Katrina relief sites, warned the FBI today. With nearly 4,000 Hurricane Katrina relief sites online, estimates the FBI, at least sixty-percent (that’s 60%, folks) of the sites are actually controlled by people overseas, and are almost certainly scams.

So how can you know whether the Hurricane Katrina relief site through which you are thinking of donating is genuine or a scam?


First, you can always go directly to the website of the charity of your choice, or you can donate through a site whicih you know isn’t a scam, and is run by someone you know and trust, such as AuctionAid.org, which is run by Aunty Spam and the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy.

But it’s also important to educate yourself on how to not be taken by scams both generally, and with respect to Hurricane Katrina scams.

ScamBusters.org has done an excellent job of educating the public and the press about this very issue. In their most recent issue of Internet ScamBusters, they answer the top 10 questions asked of them by the press this week about Hurricane Katrina scams, including:

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“1. Were you surprised that the Katrina scams started so quickly?

Answer: No, we were not surprised at all. We expected the scams to start within hours — and they did. The same thing happened after each of the other major disasters during the past few years.

2. How does the number of the scams related to Hurricane Katrina compare to the scams after the tsunami disaster and 9/11?

 

Answer: We don’t collect statistics, and we don’t know of any group that has reliable statistics. Nonetheless, since we’ve been publishing ScamBusters for so long, many people and groups send us information about scams; and anecdotally, we get a pretty good feel for the scope of different scams.

Based on this, we’re seeing about four times as much scam activity related to Hurricane Katrina as we saw after the last disaster!

3. Are there any numbers you can share to give us a feeling of how big a problem these Hurricane Katrina scams are?

Answer: Yes..”

You can read the rest of the answers and questions, along with ScamBuster’s excellent advice as to how to stay scam-free, at ScamBusters.org

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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