Watch out for Typhoon Haiyan online donation scams

The Internet is a great way to donate to typhoon survivors in the Philippines, but there are a few things you should know before you give.

Watch out for online scams. Criminals have set up fake donation sites to scam generous donors who want to help. This fraud is known as phishing. Pronounced “fishing,” this is a type of online identity theft that uses email, social networking, and fraudulent websites designed to steal your personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information.  

Use a reputable website. Donate to a known organization, such as the Red Cross. If you’re unsure whether a site is safe, see How do I know if I can trust a website?

Be careful with your personal information. To help avoid online scams, never provide your social security number, banking information, or credit card number over the phone, in an email or text message, or through your social networking site.

Do not click links in donation email messages or social networking posts. Type the web address directly into your browser instead.

Don’t send cash. If a donation website asks for cash or a wire transfer, this could be an online scam. It’s safer to pay with a credit card or a check.

For more information, read our article about donation scams, or go to the consumer information page about donations on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website.

About the Author
Eve Blakemore

Group Manager, Trustworthy Computing

Eve Blakemore is a Group Manager for Trustworthy Computing who delivers consumer guidance around the latest trends in security and privacy. Eve joined Microsoft in 1998 and has worked in corporate and field roles with Microsoft Learning, US Public Sector, Read more »

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  1. Anonymous

    very informative! don't get fooled!

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