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Philippines Typhoon Disaster Scams

Criminals are currently attempting to exploit the Philippines Typhoon Haiyan disaster by sending various messages designed to steal money and personal information from people wishing to help.



Some, like the example included below, attempt to fraudulently solicit donations. Some of the fake donation messages ask people to send funds via a money transfer service such as Western Union. Often the scam emails will pretend to be from a well-known person or organization. Alternatively, the scam emails may try to trick people into donating by clicking a link that goes to a bogus website designed to look like a genuine charity site.

Phishing scammers are also attempting to fool people into submitting their credit card details and other personal and financial information via bogus websites or "donation forms". 

And scammers are also using the classic "stranded friend" ploy repackaged to fit the Typhoon Haiyan disaster. These scam emails, which usually come from accounts compromised in previous phishing attacks, claim that the sender has been stranded in the Philippines without money or resources. The emails ask the recipient to send an emergency "loan" to help the person get out of the country. Because the scammers often use hijacked accounts, these emails may appear to come from a person the recipient actually knows. Thus, the recipient is more likely to send the "loan" as requested.

Do not let your desire to help others in need be hijacked by immoral criminals. Be wary of any unsolicited email that asks you to send money or click a link to donate on a website.

If you wish to donate, do so only via a legitimate and well vetted organization such as the Red Cross. The US Federal Trade Commission has published a guide to avoiding charity scams on its website.

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© Depositphotos.com/Vitezslav Valka


Example
I am Andrew (Surname and TV station removed) international anchor and reporter, currently in Philippines due to the Philippines typhoon storm that killed estimated 10,000 people, Please they need your help, We need your donations so these people can have food and shelter. If you want to help, please contact my personal email so i can send YOU a western union info you are to send a donation. God bless u as u email back

Last updated:November 15, 2013
First published: November 15, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Friend Stranded in Foreign Country Scam Emails
Red Cross - Typhoon Haiyan Appeal
FTC - Before Giving to a Charity