The Rainbow Scam Report
Disaster Relief Scams
(403) 245-0533 / (403) 651-9049
Next to health fraud, disaster relief fraud is one of those scams which we believe is about as sick as it can get.
Essentially what happens here is that a disaster such as a hurricane or some other disaster takes place. Of course some fine agencies legitimately try to help the victims by setting up relief funds. However, some of these requests for assistance are not legitimate, and is in fact someone just trying to get him or herself some extra money. Most often, this seems to occur via the internet.
The FBI of the U.S. has an Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which provides information and guidelines for avoiding this schemes.
When considering on-line options for providing funding to this relief effort consumers should consider the following:
- Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails. Be skeptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking for help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts.
- To ensure that contributions to non-profit organizations are used for their intended purposes, go directly to the recognized charities and aid organizations websites, as opposed to following a link to another site.
- Be leery of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
Here is an excellent set of guidelines from www.scambusters.org on some scams about Huccicane Katrina that have made the rounds
Rainbow Investigations Disaster Relief Stories
FBI Report on Hurricane Relief Scams
The FBI details the hurricane relief scams taking place in the U.S.
October 25, 2005
Katrina Relief Charity Scams All Over
The FBI reports all kinds of scams claiming to be Katrina relief charities...
September 10, 2005
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