FBI warns of online scams seeking cash for marathon victims
Heartless cyber swindlers have already set up as many as 100 bogus websites seeking money for the marathon bombing victims, while Internet trolls are using the attacks to spread computer viruses, prompting a pointed warning today from the feds.
“Individuals need to be aware of emerging fraud online associated with the explosions and how to take necessary precautions when using email and social networking websites,” a statement from the Federal Bureau of Investigation read today. “The FBI has received indications that individuals may be using social media and email to facilitate fraudulent activities online.”
A fake “Boston Marathon” Twitter account was created “soon after the explosions” that falsely claimed every tweet received to the account would result in a dollar donated to the victims. The account was pulled by Twitter.
The FBI also said more than 125 “questionable” Internet domains already have been registered which could be used for “fraudulent purposes.”
There are also spam emails flooding the web using the words “Boston Marathon” that are spreading computer viruses by uploading malware or spyware to unwitting users who open the messages.
“Based on previous disasters, cyber criminals may use this event as a means to further illegal activity to gain personally identifiable information,” the warning states.
The FBI warned people looking to donate to victims to research the charities and call authorities if they discover anything suspicious. The agency also warned the public to “be skeptical of charity names similar to but not exactly the same as reputable charities” and not to donate using money transfer services.
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