Sheriff’s Office warns of Boston Marathon bombing Internet scams
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
April 19, 2013
(ROCK SPRINGS, Wyoming - April 18, 2013) The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office passed along a Division of Criminal Investigation warning about numerous Internet scams - some new, some recycled - seeking to take advantage of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing.
Sheriff Rich Haskell said law enforcement information networks have identified multiple fake domains and/or websites and charity efforts engaged in fund-raising activity.
Within hours of the incident, people with unknown intentions registered over 125 domain names associated with the bombings and victims. The majority of these new domains use a combination of the words "Boston," "Marathon," "2013," "bomb," "explosions," "attack," "victims," and "donate," and should be viewed with caution.
Scammers are using social networking websites to circulate hoaxes, including information about the purported deaths of child runners when the fact is that children are not permitted to run in the Boston Marathon. "This is a callous tactic designed to arouse sympathy," Haskell said. "People are more likely to donate money if they believe children will benefit."
Phishing emails may provide links to what are claimed to be photos, videos, and information updates on the bombings, but in fact can be linked to malicious websites and the risk of picking up viruses and malware.
Officials offer the following guidelines concerning major events such as the Boston Marathon bombing and solicitations for donations:
Be cautious of emails and unfamiliar websites that provide links to information about the bombings, as they may contain viruses. Mainstream news websites with which you are familiar and use regularly are one thing, but unknown websites and, especially, emails, are another.
Never click on links or attachments contained in unsolicited emails.
Never reveal personal or financial information in an email.
Never send sensitive information over the Internet before checking a website’s security and confirming its legitimacy.