Washington: Cyber criminals have taken over social media websites and e-mails to target consumers donating for Japan’s disaster relief.
E-mails are reportedly arriving in the form of a humanitarian organization looking to set up a foundation and asking for money to help Japan’s victims.
The FBI, the Better Business Bureau and the attorneys general in states including in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas and Kentucky have started sending warnings to beware of such scammers.
The Department of Justice, which set up the National Center for Disaster Fraud after Hurricane Katrina, is now looking into reports of fraudulent relief efforts.
It has been informing people that request for donations may pop up as door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings and telephone calls, as well in cyberspace.
According to The Fox News, Internet security company McAfee has put a guide for consumers to stay safe while making donations.
The company also warns as the criminals have even created ways to get your information through media by advertising dramatic videos and images.
In order to view the footage, a person may download malware to computer or one may enter their personal information.
David Marcus, director of security research and communications at McAfee said, the company has found at least half a dozen of such websites, but also said that it’s hard to differentiate between them because often the same ones will simply change the wording and create another one.
McAfee has even found sites that are similar to the sites of legitimate and well-known organizations like Red Cross.