Scammers Using Fake Charity Sites

Posted on August 23, 2006

Fake charity sites are a big part of phising scams. Sophos recently ran a story about a scammer who was using a fake Red Cross site to rake in money from people that thought they were giving money to the charity organization to help Hurricane Katrina survivors.
"Internet scammers have no qualms on feeding on other people's misery in their pursuit of money," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's claimed that 56 different people downloaded Jovany Desir's Hurricane Katrina phishing kit, presumably with the intention of conning good samaritans out of money. Everyone needs to be on their guard against identity theft and remain alert to the latest internet threats. This isn't the first time that criminals have taken advantage of a natural disaster, and sadly it won't be the last."

Sophos experts have revealed that Hurricane Katrina was not the first disaster to have caught the eye of cybercriminals. Earlier this year, the FBI warned that scammers were preying on internet users touched by the mining accident in Sago, West Virginia. In January 2005, the VBSun worm was spread via email posing as a plea for money to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
You can see by the screenshot of the website in the article that the phisher went to great lengths to make the website look similar to the actual Red Cross website. The Red Cross logo was used and the order form was mimicked by the online grifter.