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Eset Warns of Email Scams in Wake of Tsunami Disasters


SAN DIEGO, CA -- 01/03/2005 -- Eset, a global provider of next-generation virus protection, today warned of money collection scams taking advantage of the recent tsunami disasters. Criminals often prey upon sympathy for tragedy victims by emailing millions of spam messages requesting aid sent to a particular bank account or donated from a Web site linked from the email. For instance after the 9/11 attacks and the Beslan Hostage crisis at a Russian school, there were a number of such scams circulating. As many of these emails are constructed to look legitimate, philanthropists should be very cautious when making donations by abiding by the following recommendations.

How to Spot a Scam

-- If you didn’t opt-in -- Legitimate charities only send appeals to individuals who have explicitly chosen to receive emails from the organization. Unsolicited, such emails are almost always fraudulent.
-- Don’t be fooled by appearance -- Emails can appear legitimate by copying the graphics and language of a legitimate organization. Many include tragic stories of victims of the disaster.
-- Don’t click through to links -- Links in emails can lead to “spoofed” Web sites that mirror the look and feel of a genuine organization.

Making Real Donations
-- While some emails may be genuine, it is too difficult to confirm or track that donations reached the intended recipient.
-- Type the URL of a legitimate aid group directly into your Internet browser (do not click through from any source).
-- Follow the Web site’s instructions on how to send donations. This will ensure that the funds actually reach the intended recipient and that these charities will be able to do the greatest good.

“It is a sad fact that criminals will take advantage of the suffering of the victims of tragedies and exploit genuine goodwill for their own gain. We would encourage people to make their donations directly to recognized charities and aid organizations to ensure that they are used for the intended purpose,” said Andrew Lee, Eset’s CTO. “Also be very suspicious of any email in the coming week that claims to show pictures of the disaster-struck areas in an attached file. The attachment most likely will contain a virus. It is always recommended that Internet users only open attachments they are expecting to receive.”
About Eset

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Eset is a global security software solution company that provides next-generation virus protection with its award winning anti-virus system NOD32.


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