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Scotland County Sheriff's Office
Friday January 15th, 2010 :: 09:34 a.m. EST

Alert

Haitian Earthquake Relief Fraud Alert

The FBI today reminds Internet users who receive appeals to donate money in the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti to apply a critical eye and do their due diligence before responding to those requests. Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause.

Therefore, before making a donation of any kind, consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

* Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.

* Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.

* Verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations by utilizing various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its nonprofit status rather than following a purported link to the site.

* Be cautious of e-mails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files because the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

* Make contributions directly to known organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf to ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes.

* Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft.

Anyone who has received an e-mail referencing the above information or anyone who may have been a victim of this or a similar incident should notify the IC3 via http://www.ic3.gov.

For further information, please visit the FBI's Web site:
http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel10/earthquake011310.htm.

Address/Location
Scotland County Sheriff's Office
212 Biggs Street
Laurinburg, NC 28352

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 910-276-3385

Steve Smith
Adm
chief_deputy@scotlandsheriff.org
910-277-3151

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