Katrina Donation Scams
VeriSign has volunteered technical staff to scour the Web in search of sites that are spoofing The Red Cross. VeriSign's team has already taken down two phishing sites for the humanitarian agency in the past week.
Phishing scams seeking to steal donations earmarked for Hurricane Katrina victims may have started a week ago, but security experts expect a spike in this fraudulent activity in the weeks to come. Such scams circulated widely after the devastating December 2004 tsunami in Asia . As such, expert phishers have had plenty of practice to design legitimate looking requests, said experts, and consumers should be cautious when making donations online. These spam e-mails use a common phishing tactic, showing what look like legitimate URLs of reputable organizations, but which link potential donors to bogus sites.
For its part, VeriSign has volunteered technical staff to scour the Web in search of sites that are spoofing The Red Cross. VeriSign Fraud Manager Steve Booth told the E-Commerce Times that his team has already taken down two phishing sites for the humanitarian agency in the past week.
"The scams are going to get much worse," Booth said. "The tsunami scams didn't really kick in full force until a week or so later. The Katrina scams started earlier. That's because once you've got the spoofed Web site made it's easy to change them up and park them on different URLs."
Finally, security experts warn in the coming weeks consumers should be cautious of any e-mails with photos of the disaster-stricken areas included as attached files. The attachments most likely will contain a virus.