Several scams relating to the Boston Marathon bombings have already showed up online. The Pettis County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging people to use extreme caution when looking at websites related to the tragedy. Several false domain names and social media accounts have been found.
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center recommends people only donate money through official fund raising charities such as the American Red Cross.
Press Release from the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office
Individuals wasted no time registering domain names related to yesterday’s explosions at the Boston Marathon. Some of the domains are likely to take advantage of those interested in learning more details about the explosions. Others will likely target individuals looking to contribute to fundraising efforts. It is unclear what each registrants intent may be, but historically, scammers, spammers and other malicious actors capitalize on major news events by registering such domains.
In addition to fake domains, malicious actors may also create fake social media accounts with similar intent. Twitter account @_BostonMarathon was created shortly after the explosions took place. The account stated it would donate $1.00 for each retweet, and was crafted to closely resemble the legitimate Boston Marathon Twitter account (@BostonMarathon). This account has since been suspended by Twitter; however, the likelihood that similar social media accounts will surface remains high.
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) recommends that all persons looking to donate money in support of those affected by yesterday’s events rely on official fund raising charities such as the American Red Cross.
Exercise caution when clicking on links or interacting with social media accounts that claim to represent the best interests of those involved in this incident.
Additionally, when searching for updates on the story, it is safest to go directly to trusted news sources rather than conducting general search engine queries.
Use caution when accessing Internet resources and if you choose to donate, only give to known legitimate causes.
Pettis County Sheriff