Saturday, January 08, 2005

Internet Scam begins to cash in on the tsunami

A new breed of email scams is exploiting the generosity of people who have rushed online to donate money to the relief effort, an internet watchdog SurfControl has warned. The first of the tsunami cons have already hit inboxes around the world. One is a modification of the classic Nigerian scam letter, but another is a more sophisticated operation, in which potential donors recieve an email luring them into making donations to a fake website. People are urged to use official channels and not to respond to emails asking them to donate money.Just as your bank would never email you asking for your account details, the official tsunami relief NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) are not going to email you asking for money. If in doubt, telephone the concerned office directly and check.The first for "brand-spoofing", tsunami scam was detected in the U.S. When users open a link to a website where they can supposedly make donations, they unwittingly download a spyware programme, which can give spammers access to confidential data on the victim's hard drive.
Courtesy : The Guardian.
REMEMBER: Yes! money is definitely required for much needed relief work.And lots of countries around the world have already released aid to the tune of millions of dollars. But at this juncture, it is not the lack of money that is withholding the much needed succour to the victims. A greater problem that has arisen is the hang-ups occurring in the distribution of relief material to the right places at the right time. For example, in a fishing town in TamilNadu (India) called Nagapattinam and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands , the major immediate problem faced by the victims is the shortage of drinking water and medical supplies which are not reaching the spot due to the distribution hang-ups; in fact there is an acute shortage of drinking water in all tsunami affected areas around the world. Also there is news of shortage of volunteers in some areas to do the much needed relief work. But the concerned authorities are working towards addressing these issues.
So if you (as an individual) are keen on showing your solidarity towards the tsunami victims, then your sincere prayers might help much more than the money you donate.So pause and think twice before you reveal your credit card number or other details to the numerous websites which are collecting donations for tsunami victims. For all you know, they might be making a run for your money.

No comments: