Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon closed websites set up by a group of white separatists who sought funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Nixon said the group was channeling funds to its own group. This is one of the many scams caused by Hurricane Katrina on the internet.
According to the FBI, more than 2,000 websites have solicited funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina, most of which are scams. The most popular sites claim to be seeking funds for the Red Cross and look like the Red Cross website in a misleading way. You can donate directly to the Red Cross on its website (redcross.org).
An Internet monitoring group, scambusters.org, has identified some popular methods used by these Internet scammers to solicit funds on behalf of victims of Hurricane Katrina.
1 – Phishing scams
Many fraudulent websites with the appearance of legitimate charities solicit funds on behalf of victims of Hurricane Katrina.
2 – Viral scams
An e-mail is sent with an attachment claiming to contain photos of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. When the attachment is open, a Trojan is placed on your computer for the purpose of stealing your banking information.
3 – Hate Sites
Hate groups create websites and solicit funds on behalf of victims of Hurricane Katrina.
4 – Paid scams
Spam email offering to find loved ones lost in Hurricane Katrina for a fee.
5 – Chain Letter Scams
Letters send a donation to Hurricane Katrina for each copy sent.
For the latest scams, visit scambusters.org.
The best way to protect yourself is to give directly to well-known charities. CNN.Com has compiled a list of well-known charities donating to Katrina victims (cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/katrina/help.center/)
Unfortunately, with Rita en route, there will be many more scams for Rita, I'm sure.