ICTA/SLCERT warns of cyber criminals over online donations to disaster-hit Japan

Tuesday, 22 March 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT), a subsidiary of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka, warned donors to the victims of the recent disaster in Japan to ensure that their donations reached the intended recipients.

This warning comes in the wake of a spurt of fake charity websites created by cyber criminals calling for donations to Japan’s recent twin earthquake and tsunami disaster victims.

“Scammers are posing as legitimate charitable organisations, flooding email inboxes with messages asking recipients to donate money for relief efforts,” SLCERT reports.

“Criminals have also registered a large number of domains with URLs (or web links) that may fool users into thinking that they are legitimate donation or relief sites. Sometimes these websites may appear on top of web search results such as on Google,” a senior SLCERT spokesman said.

SLCERT warns consumers to be wary of responding to donation requests for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, through e-mails or websites.

“Users should make donations only to legitimate organisations and only through websites of those groups. The Red Cross, for example, is accepting donations on its website,” the SLCERT official admonished.

Donors encountering such dubious solicitations are encouraged to contact SLCERT. E-mail: [email protected] /Phone: 011-2691692 could be used for such contacts.