Dangers from Haiti Spread to the World
It’s been wonderful to see how the good people of the world have done everything in their power to aid those currently suffering in Haiti. Unfortunately, I’ve also watched as bad people try to take advantage of everyone they can with new scams and money making opportunities.
When a world wide event like an earthquake occurs there are actually people who celebrate the news with a party. They react like I would give my WinPatrol program was mentioned on the Today Show or by Oprah.
By evening of the day the earthquake occurred I started to see my Email inbox fill with scams. They ranged from fake plea’s for money to “click here to help” which downloaded fake AntiSpyware programs to my computer.
I’m sure many of you are cautious but I find it necessary to remind folks again. Even if a message appears to come from a friend or one of your Farmville neighbors don’t click on strange links. There’s no reason you can’t wait until you talk to your friend in person and make sure they don’t have any new computer infections.
There are other not so obvious steps you need to take because of the scope of this disaster. Of course, read your credit card bills and verify all your purchases. I’m sure that’s something you do anyway but this month be like Santa and “check it twice”. I’ve already heard from folks who had small charges from companies with names that appear to be affiliated with the Red Cross and other international aid foundations.
The same is true with your phone bill. The cell phone companies have made it easy for legitimate companies like the Red Cross. You can text the word “HAITI” to 90999 and $10 will be donated. Most legitimate companies will text you back asking for confirmation requiring you to text “YES” back to them. Unfortunately, there are plenty of deceitful companies and it’s not the phone companies job to police them. Check your bill. If you did donate make sure any fees taken out are going where you expected.
I’m pleased to see the cell phone companies are waiving any text messaging fees for the Red Cross and most other organizations using text donations. Unfortunately, not all organizations are getting this waiver so again, know who you’re giving too.