Symantec is warning web users to beware of emails requesting
donations to help the victims of the weekend’s earthquake in Canterbury.
“Cyber-scammers are quick to prey on people’s emotions with
bogus emails and phony websites devised to steal what should have been
charitable donations,” Symantec said in a statement. “Earlier this year,
Symantec saw a massive outbreak of spam following the Haitian earthquake and
expects cybercriminals to leverage New Zealand’s quake for the same malicious
“Symantec Security experts urge computer users to follow
best practices to help stay safe online, and ensure donations and support reach
the victims and not the scammers.”
When donating to a charity online, always remember:
Avoid clicking on suspicious links in email or IM messages
as these may be links to spoofed websites. Symantec security experts suggest
typing web addresses, such as those for a charitable organisation, directly
into the browser rather than clicking on links within messages.
Never fill out forms
in messages that ask for personal or financial information or passwords. A
reputable charitable organisation is unlikely to ask for your personal details
via email. When in doubt, contact the organisation in question via an
independent, trusted mechanism, such as a verified telephone number, or a known
internet address that you type into a new browser window (do not click or cut
and paste from a link in the message).
Below is a list of legitimate links for sending donations:
A portal site has also been set up with links to central and local government agencies.