Thursday, September 01, 2005

Scammers hit Web in Katrina's wake

A Washington Post article by Brian Krebs and Caroline E. Mayer, via MSNBC, reports that:

Web sites claiming to collect donations for Hurricane Katrina victims. Phony e-mails pretending to solicit money from well-known charities. Online auctions of Internet domain names with Katrina-related addresses, such as ""

Less than two days after the hurricane, Internet opportunists are already trying to cash in on public sympathy for Katrina's victims.

Within the past 24 hours, several Web sites have emerged, promising to forward money to relief workers. Bearing such names as, and, the sites ask for money to be sent through Paypal, but there is no way to verify who is getting the money.

EBay late yesterday halted an online auction of several Katrina-related Web site names, such as "" Bidding was to start at $15,000, and the seller promised to deliver half of the final winning bid amount to the American Red Cross. EBay allows sellers to dedicate a portion of their profit to charities but requires the seller to either sign up for eBay's own giving program or obtain permission from the charity first. Red Cross officials said no permission had been granted, and eBay said it terminated the auction because the seller did not observe rules on charitable giving.


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