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Scammers use Red Cross email to benefit from NZ earthquake

Scammers use Red Cross email to benefit from NZ earthquake
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Scammers use Red Cross email to benefit from NZ earthquake1

Fundraising | Niki May Young | 24 Feb 2011

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs in New Zealand has issued an alert for donors to charities handling the Christchurch earthquake disaster following the release of a scam email which appeared to be sent by the Red Cross.

The scam email directed donors to a fake phishing website asking for donors' credit card details.

"There could be a number of these fake emails and fake websites surfacing in coming days," the Ministry warned, advising that "authorities are looking to close these sites as soon as possible, but more will likely appear."

The Ministry issued guidance for donors to identify scam emails. Scam emails typically come from a generic email address such as a gmail account, often contain spelling and grammatical errors and offer a 10 per cent cut for receiving funds, it advised.

The New Zealand Charities Commission also issued advice for donating to quake recovery stating that it is best for donors to give to large, well-known charities which "have better networks, infrastructure, expertise and systems in place".

Mark Astarita
Director Fundraising
British Red Cross
24 Feb 2011

Are there currently fraudulent emails circulating, claiming to be from the Red Cross, asking for money?
We are aware that a few websites have drawn attention to a scam email in circulation purporting to be from the Red Cross.

We condemn this attempted abuse of people's good will; it beggars belief that anyone would try to profit from human suffering and deliberately take money away from those in need.

Anyone wishing to donate securely to the British Red Cross can do so at www.redcross.org.uk or by calling 0845 054 7200 - emails giving details other than these are fraudulent and should be reported.

If you are suspicious of an email you have received, please visit http://www.redcross.org.uk/fraudadvice to help verify if the email is genuine or not. If you are still suspicious, please contact the British Red Cross supporter care team: 0844 87 100 87, supportercare@redcross.org.uk

We must not allow a tiny number of fraudulent emails to put people off donating through secure channels, and we urge people to continue giving whatever they can.





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