Beware of email scams claiming to be a charity organization for Haitian relief!

@mentalward (14695)
United States
January 14, 2010 1:50pm CST
I just received an email from my husband who got it through his employer. The FBI is warning everyone to be very careful if you receive emails asking for donations for the people of Haiti who have been devastated by the recent earthquake there. HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF FRAUD ALERT 01/13/10—The FBI today reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause. Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following: § Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages. § Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites. § Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site. § Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. § Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes. § Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft. Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via www.ic3.gov. So many of us have very little money (if any) to give these days to such a worthy cause only to be defrauded. Please use caution if you want to help these people. Common sense is all it takes. I know that most of you are savvy about the scammers out there but, just in case, since this is such a heart-wrenching cause, we may just want to help without realizing that what we're giving our money to could be a scammer or even worse. Stay safe!
5 people like this
15 responses
@HADDOWZ (1481)
9 May 10
Another type of email scam has been going around like a virus for some time now. The email I refer to is the one which says you have won a super great wackying amount of money and all you need to do is reply with you full name, address,email account,zip code etc and the money will be forwarded to you. It amases me how these work but I am sure some poor unfortunate soles will reply and get conned. I bet there are millions of these emails sent out everday and it only takes one percent of people to be conned for it to pay dividends for the senders. The first thing I look at when receiving email like this is from where it was sent, alot of these scams are sent by people with email accounts on free servers like, gmail, and hotmail, if it was a real company they would not be usins this email addy. Be-aware dont get conned.
@HADDOWZ (1481)
9 May 10
Your right, as always, if only people would pay more attention then less people would be scammed. Sadly the first thing that catches most peoples eyes are words like, 'you have won' or 'you are a winner'. Everyone likes to win something, not matter how small a prize it is, you still feel good. These email scammers are not stupid and understand how people, just like you and me think. Juststay one step ahead of them, the you are the real winner.
@commanderxo (1496)
• Canada
17 Jan 10
Very good advice my dear. It's amazing how these scammers and spammers come out of the woodwork to prey on the unsuspecting, during and/or after a crisis. It's enough to make one ill. cdrxo
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
Ill? It makes me want to become violent! You know how non-violent I usually am, right? I'm normally such a laid-back person but these people make me see red.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Jan 10
I hear ya... .....and if you ever DID catch up to these bast*rds, chances are THEY'D be the next ones screaming for aid! cdrxo
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
18 Jan 10
That is low isn't it? The poor people in Haiti are going through the worst hell and some jerks take the opportunity to rip people off! Thanks for sharing the warning. I heard on the radio this morning that some of these fraudulent emails look very professional and are easily mistaken for the real thing...Low lives!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
I agree, Paula. These creatures are not human, in my eyes. Even "sub-human" is too good for them. I would not trust any emails these days asking for help, not even the ones that look like they're from legitimate charities or companies. I'd go directly to their site before I gave any money. I hope at least some of these low-lives are caught and prosecuted. They should be made to do community service in Haiti, helping those they were trying to steal the money from.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
17 Jan 10
I never, ever respond to charitable emails. If they want my money they can send me something through the mail. Same with phone calls, I don't do business over the phone. It's a shame we can't catch people like this and throw them into a dark dungeon full of rats for the rest of their lives, which is better than they deserve.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
I agree, dragon. People like this are the lowest of the low. I just hope karma comes knocking on their door one of these days with a nice big surprise for them, one they never see coming and one they will live to regret. They're despicable.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
16 Jan 10
Do you know I just can not believe how low People can get to try and make Money out of the terror and fear of others it just makes make sick that there are People like this about Thanks for letting us know Mentalward
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
It makes me want to hurt these people, gabs. Normally, I'm a 'live and let live' kinda person but when greed makes people hurt others, especially others who are in desperate need of simple, basic, life-saving necessities, I feel that no punishment could be too harsh for these foul, heartless creatures.
• United States
16 Jan 10
isnt it sick how every time there is a disaster or something there are people just ready to jump and make scams for people to fall into? pisses me off!
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
It makes me want to hurt them, moon. I hope at least some of them are caught and prosecuted. No punishment in the world could be too harsh for these low-life scum.
@moondancer (7434)
• United States
15 Jan 10
Thank you for making us aware of these. I got a couple in my inbox this morning. All be it one was from the Democrat's wanting me to donate.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
15 Jan 10
Hi moon. You can't even be sure these are legitimate emails. Hackers can do some very devious things these days. I'd do what they're telling us on TV, go to their websites where they have a list of legitimate charities.
@bunnybon7 (37950)
• Holiday, Florida
15 Jan 10
yes the same night it happened i recieved several emails. but 2 of them was from food for the poor. which i've been involved with before i became so poor myself. im very sceptical even when it comes from a source i've donated to. but then you never know online if thats really who they say. so i would just donate where i could be sure personally
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
Even though those emails say they come from food for the poor, you can't be sure. Scammers and hackers can do some awful things these days, pretending to be a well-known charity when all the money they collect goes right into their pockets. I'd go directly to the website of the charities before I give a penny to anyone who claims to be a charity. You just can't be too sure these days.
@jambi462 (4598)
• United States
15 Jan 10
Mighty shameful to take advantage of people suffering and dying. I don't understand how people can feel okay with themselves by doing things like this. Not only are they stealing from people but by doing this people will start to ignore some charities that are actually trying to help the cause because they think they are going to get ripped off. I just don't understand how you can call yourself a human being if you act this way.
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
They aren't human, jambi. You have to have a heart to qualify as human and these people have demonstrated that they have no heart. I don't know how they can live with themselves, either. There are some truly heartless, greedy people on this planet! I just hope some of them are caught and prosecuted. I'd love to see them being forced to do community service by helping the relief effort in Haiti and, once relief has been given to everyone, they can do more community service by helping to rebuild Port-au-Prince. I couldn't think of a better punishment for them.
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
15 Jan 10
There was something on the news alerting people about possible fraudulent emails and requests for donations for relief in Haiti. They suggest going to the news website which gives listings of legitimate places to donate money, the best one of course being something like The Red Cross. But just yesterday I got an email appealing for donations to help the stranded pets in Haiti...now of course if an animal lover doesn't use caution and smarts, they might rush to donate money...but to my mind it smelled fishy to me and playing and tugging at the hearts of animal lovers..no doubt a scam as well
@mentalward (14695)
• United States
18 Jan 10
That's an excellent point to bring up, pye. These inhuman scammers will use any angle they can to steal money meant for disaster relief. I honestly don't understand how they can live with themselves. They can't possibly have a heart. I wonder if the S.P.C.A is working for relief of the animals in Haiti. I've been so caught up with the suffering of the humans there that I'm ashamed to say I haven't even thought about the pets and other animals! I feel so badly for them because they have feelings and needs just as we do but they can't understand or rationalize what is happening to them. Going to the TV stations' websites is an excellent idea to get a list of legitimate charities for Haitian relief. I hope they have some for the animals!
@enola1692 (3325)
• United States
14 Jan 10
it really makes me sick that people would try to take advantage of a bad situation some people just are so uncaring its disgusting
• United States
26 Jan 10
I think it is sad how people take advantage of any opportunity to cheat people out of their money. My motto is that you don't donate to anything that you have not had prior experience with. For example, if you wish to donate to Haiti, do it through something like the tv telethon that was on, a religious organization that you are affiliated with, or something like the Red Cross that we know are legitimate.
• India
15 Jan 10
Well ! I had one such e-mail few month before.. I didn't responded to that. And I think people are well aware of that....!
• Singapore
15 Jan 10
OMG!!Thanks for telling me!I was hesitant to donate lol cos i'm not really sure whether i should donate..lol.Must be careful and confirm it before donating lol...
@tangurama (206)
• Canada
15 Jan 10
Thank you for the warning. I'll keep an eye out for any suspicious looking emails you mentioned.