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419-Style Scammers Seeking to Exploit Appeal for Donations to Support Victims of Haitian Earthquake 

01-14-2010 06:05 AM

Posted on behalf of Mathew Nisbet, Malware Data Analyst, Symantec Hosted Services

People all over the world are currently feeling a great deal of sympathy for the people of Haiti, who were recently hit by a severe earthquake. Humanitarian aid is being offered by many countries around the globe, and aid charities are looking for donations so that they can send all the help they can.
 
And then there are people who don’t want to help and will use any means to try and get those donations. '419' advance fee fraud scams are common and the perpetrators are always looking for new attention-grabbing topics which will trick people into handing over their money. Something like the humanitarian crisis of the Haiti earthquake is, sadly, a prime target for these scammers. They count on the public’s good nature, concern, and desire to help, and hope that they won’t see through the scam email which they are reading. The desire to help can often cloud a person's good judgement.
 
Below (screenshot attached) is a 419 style scam we have already seen. They have used the correct postal address, and there is indeed a British Red Cross appeal for donations to help the victims of this disaster, but the BRC do not use Western Union for donations. Also, the email address supplied for contact is not one belonging to the BRC. Any money sent using the instructions in this email would not help anyone in Haiti, it would end up in the pockets of a cyber-criminal.

Haiti-Appeal-419.jpg
 
If you wish to make a donation to help fund the BRC humanitarian effort, you can do so via their website (http://www.redcross.org.uk). General advice is that at any time you learn of an appeal for donations that you wish to contribute to, you should contact the charity directly yourself to ensure that it is a genuine appeal, and that your money really is going where you want it to.
 
 

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Comments

07-09-2011 05:55 AM

 

Good article i like and thank you for this article.
 

07-04-2011 11:40 AM

Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from now on. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice day!
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07-04-2011 11:40 AM

Thanks for this read mate. Well, this is my first visit to your blog! But I admire the precious time and effort you put into it, especially into interesting articles you share here!
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07-04-2011 11:39 AM

I think we need to bring more ideas for this purpose. Involvement of young people can be handy in this regard. I am happy to find a good post here. Thank you
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06-26-2011 07:34 PM

This is a very informative post!

06-26-2011 07:33 PM

This is a very informative post.I hope that the BRC get many more donations because even though it has been some time since the earthquake there are still victims out there.

06-24-2011 06:58 AM

Well this is very interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Great post. Thanks for the heads-up. This blog was very informative and knowledgeable.

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06-15-2011 02:29 PM

 I was awaiting for such an artice and I have gained some very useful information from this site.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my friends check up here often.

06-08-2011 10:08 AM

Cool! Author the best! Thank you!

04-30-2011 04:53 PM

"Wherever money and people appear to want to take advantage of this. That if we can tell people. These crooks mercy of people and enjoy themselves, without even thinking for a moment that those funds are intended for men reached the limit of desperation, people have nothing to eat, children are dying of hunger and disease." I totally have to agree with this man!auto dealers online

03-28-2011 02:29 PM

Data entry scams or home based typist job con typically target people searching for 'work at home' business chances. Data entry scams can have numerous variations, angrybut a lot of them involve deceptive people into buying affiliate marketing materials in the name of data entry work.

03-02-2011 11:13 PM

That is horrible ... Many people use the disaster to their advantages.. I am truly ashamed of people that do such cruel things. I hope no one do that again someday... Good post symantec...

02-10-2011 03:00 PM

I think they should get a job like everyone else. I work for a data recovering company and I have expiereced that most damaged computers are due to these spammers. I really think this is a very interesting and fun website.

01-30-2011 12:33 PM

In my personal op[inion, this behaviour is not only highly illegal but it is also unethical as it exploits kind hearted, generous donating people out of their hard earned cash thinking its going to a needy cause when it simply is not. I am truly ashamed of people that do such cruel things. Good job symantec.

01-18-2011 10:20 AM

I've re-read this blog post three times because I cannot understand what sort of person would try and take advantage of earthquake victims. I don't know what is more disappointing; knowing that this circulated to millions or people or knowing that humans are capable of this kind of deception.

01-03-2011 08:09 AM

Scammers are always looking for new ways to rip people off. It seems like they have no conscious. There difinitely needs to be harsher punishment for these offenders.

Thanks for the great read

12-24-2010 01:37 PM

Unfortunately this is wellknown tric and bad people still use it ! It is sad but some generous members of our society send money in hope that they help someone   viagra uk cheap viagra uk

12-23-2010 01:51 PM

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. thank you for sharing with us.

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12-20-2010 06:09 AM

I am so glad that I have bookmarked this website because I see that it is full of various and attractive information about everything. Thanks one more time for this publication, it was really interesting to read it. Regards,Pehari

12-15-2010 07:30 AM

Perhaps these kinds of frauds should be considered as crimes so that these people could be sentences in a court. Wherever money and people appear to want to take advantage of this. .

12-04-2010 03:59 AM

Wherever money and people appear to want to take advantage of this. That if we can tell people. These crooks mercy of people and enjoy themselves, without even thinking for a moment that those funds are intended for men reached the limit of desperation, people have nothing to eat, children are dying of hunger and disease.auto dealers online

11-13-2010 06:41 AM

Thanks a lot for the informative and interesting publication first of all. Actually I was looking for this information for a long time and finally have noticed this your entry. Reading this great post I have found so many new and useful information about the Haitian Earthquake, which I have not known before. I am so glad that I have bookmarked this website because I see that it is full of various and attractive information about everything. Thanks one more time for this publication, it was really interesting to read it. Regards, David Gregor from Missouri

10-13-2010 01:57 PM

Frankly, it's quite sad for me to hear about people who are using the Haiti disaster for their own good. Perhaps these kinds of frauds should be considered as crimes so that these people could be sentences in a court.

10-07-2010 09:10 AM

Congrats for releasing such a nice post.This is nice post. I was awaiting for such an artice and I have gained some very useful information from this site.I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my friends check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else .Thanks for sharing Pariuri Sportive this information.

09-29-2010 08:21 PM

If there's anything that deserves severe punishment, it's matter as like this.  Exploiting the victim of the Haitian earthquake, there's no excuse for that.  I just think there has to be a harsh punishment for scammers of this nature.

08-01-2010 07:21 AM


It truly is dreadful that such funds are being diverted to those with no interests but their own. Whats worse is that very little seems to be done about it, or perhaps it may just be that it's impossible to track such individuals. Common sense seems to be missing when people receive these scam emails. Surely a bit of pause and thought is required - what is the email address, is the spelling very poor etc. There are usually several ways to notice such scam emails, but I guess there are too many trusting people out there.

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