by Kevin Caruso
Every disaster brings out scammers.
So please be careful.
Please do not respond to any e-mails that solicit donations for Hurricane Katrina survivors. They are ALL scams.
And ONLY donate to large, reputable charities -- and so so on their official websites or via their toll-free numbers.
One VERY common scam is a phishing scheme in which the scammers send out e-mails and claiming that they are the Red Cross and need donations. They ask you to click a link in the e-mail to donate; and if you click the link you are taken to a website that LOOKS like the Red Cross website (Red Cross.org), but it is a COPY of the site. They ask for your personal information, including a credit card number or other financial information, so you can make a “donation” and then they use the information you provide to rip you off.
Again, this is called phishing, and is an extremely commom scam during disasters.
NEVER CLICK ON A LINK IN ANY E-MAIL ASKING FOR DONATIONS.
Only donate to large, well established charities, like the red cross. And do so on their website (the Red Cross site is Red Cross.org) or via their toll free number (the Red Cross number is 1-800-HELP-NOW.
Never give money to anyone who comes to your door or approaches you at a store, mall, or any other location saying they are collecting money for Hurricane Katrina survivors.
They will rip you off. NEVER give them money.
Hang up on anyone who calls you and says they are collecting money for Hurricane Katrina survivors – they are trying to rip you off.
Also, ALWAYS pay with a credit card or a check that is made out to the charity. NEVER give cash. Where will the cash go? You will never know.
Again, ONLY donate to large, well established charities on their website or via their toll free number.
And remember – if something does not look right or feel right with a particular charity, DON’T DONATE TO THEM.
You must be 100% confident that the charity is legitimate and the money you are donating will actually get to the charity.
Also, many of the e-mails that the scammers send have viruses or trojans in them.
The scammers may send "hurricane photos" as attachments, and when you open the photos, you are hit with a virus or trojan.
So now you have another reason not to click on a link or attachment in an e-mail soliciting donations.
You are not only get ripped off…but end up with destroyed data and a destroyed computer.
NEVER OPEN AN ATTACHMENT IN AN E-MAIL ASKING FOR DONATIONS.
Hurricane Katrina has brought out the scumbag scammers. These losers have crawled out from under
their rocks, as they did during the tsunami disaster and the 911 disaster, and they are sending out their phishing e-mails and employing innumerable other schemes to rip you off.
So be careful.
I also run one of the largest tsunami websites – Tsunamis.com – and I saw every scam in the book shortly after the tsunami hit.
You definitely want to read "scams" section on the Tsunamis.com website, because
the same scams are repeated over and over. So make yourelf aware of as many as possible:
Tsunamis E-mail and Website Scams
Again, make sure that you visit the page above and study the various scams. They are
used again and again, and variations on those scams are being used in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina.
Below are some actual e-mails that the scumbag scammers are sending out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Read through them so you will be aware of what is going on.
Most of these e-mails are sent from countries OUTSIDE the United States, so, again, be very careful.
Again, remember these rules -- you must ALWAYS follow them:
1) NEVER, Under and circumstances, click on a link or attacment in an e-mail that is soliciting donations for Hurricane Katrina.
2) ONLY donate to large, well known, reputable charities -- and do so on their websites or via their toll free number.
Scammers can be very tricky, and before you know it, you could get nailed also…unless you follow the rules above 100% of the time.
Here are some of the actual scam e-mails associated with Hurricane Katrina:
Hurricane Katrina Scams
Actual e-mails from scumbag scammers:
PLEASE HELP HURRICANE KATRINA VICTIMS
RED CROSS RED CRESCENT INTERNATIONAL
The hurricane Katrina is killing more people every day. People have no homes. It is so terrible a situation that we need so much more help. We do not have enough money to help the children who are dying every day.
We are hereby appealing to the whole world to help us the RED CROSS RED CRESCENT INTERNATIONAL with online fund raising to enable us to help over 1 million people including children who are dying in the United
States of America.
You are advised to respond back to us quickly through this email address.
Dear Beloved Sister& Brother In Christ,
I am Mrs. [name removed] from the Netherlands. I am married to Dr. [name removed] who worked with an oil servicing company in Gambia. It is by the grace of God that I received Christ through a crusade programme in Gambia,knowing the truth and the truth have set me free. I had no choice than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of God´s mercy and glory upon my life We were married for twenty-seven years without a child. He died during a youth riots in one of the oil flow station region.He was held hostage and slain to death by protesting youths of the region. Before his death we were both Living christians.My late husband acquired a considerable sum of money through his resourcefulness and effectiveness during his stay in Gambia These money are currently lodged in a finance institution in Europe. I am desperately in need of your assistance and guidance in the dispatch of these money for the sole purpose of ameliorating the suffering of thousands of sick, poor and down trodden individuals ecumenically Especially victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans,usa.I was recently diagnosed with cancer of the lungs and the doctors have made it absolutely lucid that this disease is terminal. The doctors were not exact about how long I have to live but I am in the know that the disease has ravaged my body and left me at the mercy of endless cocktail of drugs been administered to me. The drugs have gone a long way in alleviating the pains, but I still feel my life gradually ebbing away. I do not have any existing family member to assist me in procuring these money before the stipulated time. I established this contact with you solely out of need and desperation,concern for victims in distress. I will ask that you inform me of your decision to assist or decline, please ensure that you make your decision based on nobility and humanity.Your assistance will remain forever invaluable and beneficial to thousands of children across the world. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.
I await your urgent reply.
Yours in Christ,
N.B:LETS TEAM TOGETHER TO HELP THE HURRICANE KATRINA IN NEW ORLEANS NOW,TOMMORROW MIGHT BE YOUR TURN!GOD BLESS YOU.
Please donate to Hurricane Relief Efforts. We have seen
the horrible destruction this past week that was caused
by natural causes. Our hearts and prayers go out to those
affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you'd like to help we
encourage you to make a generous donation to the
American Red Cross. Thank You for your compassion
We have lost everything because of Hurricane Katrina. Wont you please help us.
We do not have enough money to feed our baby. We need you to help us feed the baby who is sick.
God will bless you forever for feeding our baby.
I was almost drownded in the flood of hurricane Katrina.
My wife and my four children are dead. And now I think that if I died
that would have been better because now I have not a thing and I just am wanting to be dead.
I appeal to you to please help me. I do need you to help me. The hurricane was
very bad and I am sick now to. I have many expenses that I can not afford.
I need medicine for my lungs which has many problems now.
Please do help me.
END -- Hurricane Katrina Scams
Be careful, and don't let anyone rip you off or get any personal information from you.
Make sure the money you send gets to the angels, our precious hurricane Katrina survivors, and
not the scum of the earth -- the scammers.
Never click on a link or attacment in an e-mail soliciting donations, and only donate
to large, reputable charities, like the Red Cross -- and when you donate, do so on their
website or via their toll-free number.
God bless you.
Founder, Executive Director, Editor-in-Chief
(Katrina Help.com is a Suicide.org website.)