How to Avoid Chile Earthquake Scams

3 common tricks — and some useful resources — to help you stay clear of Chile earthquake scams

Beware of Chile earthquake scams! Following hot on the heels of the Haiti quake tragedy, which saw hundreds of fraud attempts, law enforcement and charities say Chile earthquake scams are sure to follow.

The three most common tricks are:

  • Bogus charities calling for donations. The scammers will seek you online, on the phone and by mail. Play safe by only donating to known legitimate charities. One respected media site has already produced a useful list of how to donate safely. Huffingtonpost.com
  • Bogus news stories. Scammers know how to get these stories near the top of online search engines. If you visit their websites you’re in danger of infecting your computer. In fact, within hours of the quake, hackers started manipulating the tsunami search results by infecting some webpages when people searched for breaking news. Instead, use well-known media sites for updates.Google has a good resource page: http://www.google.com/relief/chileearthquake
  • Chile quake photos. Email attachments claiming to be photos of the quake, sent from people you don’t know, will almost certainly be malware. Don’t click on these attachments!

For more about the risks of a Chile quake scam, read our earlier article on the Haiti earthquake, since the same scams will show up for the Chile earthquake.