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Katrina Spawns Scam Scum

Sick fraudsters are using the tragic events in New Orleans and the Southern U.S. to defraud unsuspecting users with elaborate email scams, warns the U.S Department of Homeland Security.

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the Departments U.S Computer Emergency Response Team (US-Cert) has received reports of multiple sites attempting to trick users into donating money to fraudulent organizations. This form of scam, known as phishing, has already caused concern in other parts of the IT industry and the U.S. government (see Gates Opens Up on Security and U.S.: Al Qaeda Eyeing Cyber Threats).

Officials warn that the latest spate of phishing emails may appear as requests from a charitable organization asking users to click on a link. They are then taken to a bogus Website, where they are asked for their personal information.

With these scam emails expected to increase, officials are urging users not to follow unsolicited Web links in email messages.

The agency also recommends users check the Federal Emergency Management Agency Website for a list of legitimate charities.

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