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Donors warned against tsunami internet frauds

Internet scam artists are trying to exploit Asia's tsunami disaster to trick people into revealing private financial information.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Singapore
PUBLISHED ON JAN 10, 2005 01:57 PM IST

Internet scam artists are trying to exploit Asia's tsunami disaster to trick people into revealing private financial information to bogus disaster aid sites, MasterCard International warned on Monday.

MasterCard has teamed up with a digital fraud detection company, NameProtect, Inc, to help federal law enforcers stop the scam, the US-based credit card firm said in a statement received in Singapore.

The con artists are using a technique called "phishing" under which people are tricked into revealing banking and other confidential information to seemingly legitimate websites after receiving emails.

The United States is the source of much of the spam or unsolicited mass emails afflicting internet users worldwide.

"Sadly, we have identified numerous phishing websites that are trying to take advantage of people's compassion - but we are working with federal law enforcement to shut them down," said Sergio Pinon, senior vice president of Security and Risk Services for MasterCard International.

"By clearing out the scam artists, we hope people will continue to donate to legitimate relief efforts. However, we recommend that people do so by directly making their donations on the official Web sites of the relief agencies instead of responding to unsolicited e-mails."

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