Less than 36 hours after the worst shooting spree in US history at the Virginia Tech University campus, scammers have already created fraudulent charity sites.
The Sans Internet Storm Center is warning of at least 25 new domain names related to the shootings. Sites such as vatechshooting.com and vtmassacre.com have been registered, but no content has been uploaded.
"While some of these are undoubtedly well-intentioned organisations joining in the outpouring of support for the friends and family of the victims, others are likely to be opportunists who want to cash in on the suffering of others," wrote researcher George Bakos.
The US Computer Emergency Response Team (US-Cert) warned users to be wary of charity sites that solicit donations through email, as the sites may in fact be fronts for scams and possibly even identity theft rings.
Scam sites spawning from major tragedies have become commonplace in recent years.
US-Cert advises users to avoid following links in unsolicited emails and calling the actual charity for verification of the email before donating. Users who suspect that they have fallen victim to a scam are advised to contact their bank immediately.
The Sans Internet Storm Center is asking users to forward suspected phishing emails to the Anti-Phishing Working Group.
Virginia Tech University has set up an official fund for people wishing to donate.
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