Online scammers exploit Virginia Tech shootings

Less than 36 hours after the worst shooting spree in US history at the Virginia Tech University campus, scammers have already created fraudulent charity sites. The Sans Internet Storm Center is warning of at least 25 new domain names related to the shootings. "While some of these are undoubtedly well-intentioned organisations joining in the outpouring of support for the friends and family of the victims, others are likely to be opportunists who want to cash in on the suffering of others," wrote researcher George Bakos. Scam sites spawning from major tragedies have become commonplace in recent years.

The US Computer Emergency Response Team warned users to be wary of charity sites that solicit donations through e-mail and to call the actual charity for verification of the email before donating. Users who suspect that they have fallen victim to a scam are advised to contact their bank immediately. The Sans Internet Storm Center is asking users to forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Virginia Tech University has set up an official fund for people wishing to donate.

Link: Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund
News source: vnunet

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Now that's a pretty impressive new low these people have resorted to. But as mentioned above, it (sadly) was only a matter of time.

aldrlandon, try it first! You'd be surprised... Economically speaking, it means nothing (just money exchanging holders) -but it is unethical. Maybe you should just stop donating via proxy. By the way, there is such a thing as life insurance. Furthermore, most parents and grieving family members do not and should not be looking for money from random sympathetic strangers. Do you think there's nobody exploiting death in different ways than this? What about the church asking for "donations"? It's a cruel world, but you can't fix it by donating to charities.

Ah yes the moral equivalence argument. Please tell us your idea that is so much better than valid charities. Im getting the idea it has something to do with socialism and taking everybody else's money for your brilliant ideas..as long as you dont have to pay right? Charities do a hell of a lot of good around the world. You know why? Because the people that donate really care and are willing to give their hard earned money to a cause that they deem worthy. There are scumbags that will prey on them until the end of time, but they'll keep on giving because they actually care. I know thats hard to imagine for such a cynical sob as you, but just try it.

Its disgusting that people can cash in on tragedies, people should support those effected not con those trying to help.

That's really sad that people don't feel bad for doing these kind of things. There is no way I could live with myself if I set a fake disaster relief website up or scammed someone purposely.