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Thursday, January 14, 2010

FBI warns of Haitian quake relief scams

Beware of Internet scams seeking donations for Haitian earthquake relief, FBI officials warn.

The agency's advice:

  • Do not reply to any unsolicited emails, including clicking links contained in those messages.
  • Be skeptical of anyone claiming via email or social networking sites to be surviving victims or officials asking for donations.
  • Verify the legitimacy of non-profit groups by independently checking the group's existence, rather than relying on a purported link to the group's site.
  • Be cautious of emails claiming to show photos of the disaster area in attached files. The files may contain computer viruses. Only open attachments sent by people or groups you know.
  • Make contributions directly to known organizations, rather than relying on others to relay your donation.
  • Never give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions. Providing that information opens the door to identity theft.
Anyone who may have been victimized — or even received an email like those described above — may notify the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at

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