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You Know It’s a Scam When ‘Red Cros’ is Asking for Donations

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bill-swift - July 12, 2012

Cyber criminals will stoop down to any level when it comes to making a buck off of gullible individuals. Apparently, posing as a charity to get more money to fatten up their bank accounts isn't beneath them, as the 'Red Cros' scam demonstrates.

They couldn't have picked a more notable charity. After all, Red Cross is internationally recognized and is particularly visible during relief efforts.

Researchers from Barracuda Labs have intercepted a couple of scam emails that claim to be from the American Red Cross are trying to trick users into "donating" money. It's pretty easy to spot, since the emails are being sent from a 'redcros.org' domain.

The message reads:

A hot meal delivered to victims after a disaster, blood when it is needed the most, shelter when there is nowhere else to turn, an emergency message delivered to a member of the Armed Forces from their family. These are just some of the ways that gifts are put to work through the American Red Cross.

The link that follows points toward a web page that will allow people to send money to the scam creator, who's someone named 'Thomas March.' That name obviously has no relation to the Red Cross.

Never follow links in email. The risk that the link is spoofed is just too great. If there is an organization whose web page you want to visit to do business with, or make a donation, manually enter the domain name in your browser.

-- Dave Michmerhuizen and Luis Chapetti, security researchers at Barracuda Labs

To discredit the emails further, the Red Cross doesn't even send out random emails to ask for donations. If you want to support the organization, then head on over to their official site (the one with the double 's') to make a donation or find other ways to help them out.

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