Types of scams:
1. Phishing scams: fraudulent websites have been set up pretending to be legitimate
tsunami relief organizations. These sites request charitable donations, but
in fact steal financial information and may be used for identity theft as well.
Contributions go into the pockets of the scammers.
2. Variants of the Nigerian fee scam: unsolicited email (spam) is sent with
the supposed purpose of retrieving large amounts of money tied up in areas devastated
by the tsunami disaster.
3. Viruses and trojans: Spam is sent that includes photos of disaster areas
or individual survivors, and these attachments contain computer viruses.
4. Fee-based spam: unsolicited emails offer, for a fee, to locate loved ones
who may be disaster victims.
It’s reprehensible that a criminal set would choose to take advantage of the disaster for their personal financial gain, or just to spread a simple computer virus. It must not deter the millions of generous and honest people from making donations. The unifying impact on disparate nations and peoples in the face of this adversity is the one good consequence of the tsunami. Actions like these scams cynically strike at the root of those endeavors.
Thankfully some are being caught and promptly dealt with like this email hoaxer, who thought it would be fun to tell people searching for lost relatives, that they’d died. Yes, hilarious.