FDLE Warns of Scams of Bogus Help for Tsunami Victims

It’s human nature to want to lend a hand to the victims of flooding in Asia, but there are plenty of crooks trying to take advantage of the tragedy.

The head of the Computer Crime Center at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Special Agent Bob Breeden, says con men are already using the Internet to send bogus pleas for financial assistance, hoping to trick people into revealing credit card numbers and other personal information.

"We have bad guys who are using people’s charitable feelings toward helping the tsunami victims to try and capture your identity, so we are starting to see the very beginning of emails and websites being created where bad guys are fishing for credit card numbers and other identifying information in the form of tsunami donations for the aid relief."

Breeden says the bogus e-mails often look like the real thing. The best way to protect yourself is not to reply to any solicitations.

Instead go directly to the web sites run by legitimate relief agencies. You can find a list of those agencies at www.usafreedomcorps.gov.