U.S. Government Cracks Down On Online Disaster Scammers
Thomas Claburn writes on InformationWeek:
More than 900 people who aimed to defraud disaster victims and their would-be benefactors have been swept up in a storm of litigation.More here.
On Wednesday, the Hurricane Katrina Task Force, set up in September 2005 to fight disaster-related fraud, said that it had filed federal charges against 907 individuals in 43 federal judicial districts since its inception.
One case brought by the Hurricane Katrina Task force last November resulted in sentences of more than 8 and 9 years for two brothers who operated a Web site that fraudulently claimed to be collecting money for Hurricane Katrina victims on behalf of the Salvation Army. According to the Department of Justice, the two brothers registered "Salvationarmyonline.org" on Sept. 3, 2005, less than a week after Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans. Their Web site directed visitors to donate through PayPal and the brothers collected over $48,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and later Hurricane Rita, before authorities shut the scam down.