The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public to be on the lookout for scams in light of the recent bridge collapse in Minnesota.
They say in recent tragic events such as 9/11, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Virginia Tech shootings, people have been prompted to solicit contributions claiming to be a charitable organization.
The FBI would like consumers to keep these points in mind:
Do not respond to unsolicited (SPAM) e-mail.
Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via e-mail for donations.
Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to recognized organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's web site rather than following an alleged link to the site.
Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.