Scammers, crooks and spreaders of computer malware have wasted little time in trying to play off the public's sympathy for the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy, prompting warnings from the Massachusetts attorney general and computer security companies to be extremely wary about donating money to unfamiliar charity websites, and clicking on unsolicited Web links.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said Wednesday in a statement that potential donors need to "protect themselves from fundraising scams claiming to benefit those affected by this week's tragedy."
"Most charities that solicit donations during this time are reputable and worthy of financial support from the public, like The One Fund Boston," she said. "Some, however, may engage in questionable tactics or mislead the public about the use of donations."
Barbara Anthony, Massachusetts undersecretary of consumer affairs, said that Twitter accounts also have been created to seek money from the public.
"It is unspeakable that anyone would sink to capitalize on Boston's sorrow as we recover from this tragedy," she said in a statement. "We remind consumers to exercise caution and do their homework before reaching out to help."
The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office says if you want to donate money via a website, take the time to check websites such as BBB.org/charity.
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