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Internet crimes: email scams related to Boston Marathon bombings

Most South Carolina residents have no doubt heard about the Boston Marathon tragedy that occurred on April 15. The bombing killed three people and injured many more. Since people are generally good-natured, many want to help the victims financially. Many scammers are taking advantage of this and have found a way to defraud people through Internet crimes.

Shortly after the bombings, scammers registered hundreds of domain names in order to create fake charities. These scammers will also use social media sites and direct emails to encourage people to donate money. In addition, these websites contain spyware and viruses that can seriously harm a computer.

There are many ways in which people can protect themselves. They should donate to well-known, reputable charities only. If they have doubts about a charity's legitimacy, they can contact the Better Business Bureau. They should also be aware of unsolicited emails or phone calls that ask for personal or financial information. People should also avoid unfamiliar websites, as they may contain viruses.

Because many people rely on a computer for work and other daily tasks, computer crimes - especially Internet fraud - is common. Many people use it to defraud others for their own benefit. In this case, scammers are looking to make easy money by capitalizing off a tragedy.

It is important for computer users to safeguard their personal and financial information. Because many people shop and pay bills online, they have no qualms about using a credit card on a website. However, users must be aware of proper security when using these sites. In addition, passwords should be used and anti-virus software should be kept up-to-date.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "Officials Warn Of Internet Scams In Wake Of Boston Marathon Bombings," April 19, 2013

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