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Beware of Online Fundraising Scams and Hackers Trying to Exploit the Tragedy in Boston

The outpouring of support and generosity of the American public in the aftermath of last Monday’s explosions in Boston speaks to both our compassion and resilience as a country.  But unfortunately, as we’ve seen previously, high profile news stories and tragedies can also lead to a variety of Internet scams and online risks.

Newly created websites and twitter accounts may try to take advantage of those looking to contribute to fundraising efforts. Others could target individuals interested in simply learning more details about the incident.  For example, emails that appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate news or charitable organization may in fact be phishing attempts.

Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from online scams and phishing techniques:

  • Only donate money to known, credible fundraising charities.
  • Exercise caution when clicking on email links or interacting with social media accounts that claim to represent the best interests of those involved in this incident.
  • When searching for updates on the story, it is safest to go directly to trusted news sources rather than conducting general search engine queries.

If you suspect you have received a phishing email, please send it to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) at phishing-report@us-cert.gov.

For more information on protecting yourself and your information online, visit www.dhs.gov/StopThinkConnect.

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