Spam email alert after Haiti disasterScammers cashing in on the Haiti disaster

05 February 2010

Scammers keen to cash in on the Haiti disaster are bombarding inboxes with spam emails requesting money.

The spam emails call to help the people of Haiti and say that: ‘God will help rebuild your home and put smile on your face,’ in return for donations.

To stop spam from making its way into your inbox, read our guide to the best security software.

One email sent to Which? Computing purports to come from the Embassy of Haiti in the UK but there is no such representation in the UK.

The email also asks for donations via Western Union – a payment method traditionally used by scammers for its speed and the anonymity offered by money transfer. Western Union transfers can be sent to numerous agents around the world where the recipients can collect the money in cash.

While it has many legitimate uses, especially for sending money to friends and family, this form of payment is not recommended for sending money to strangers as it has been used by scammers to collect large amounts of money without having to give any of their details.

Invest in security software

Spammers have moved quickly to take advantage of the Haiti disaster in January with spam and phishing emails surfacing quickly after that.

Which? technology editor Matt Bath said: ‘Spam emails are not only a nuisance, they are also a massive security risk because they can contain viruses and are used to scam your personal details from you. We suggest you delete emails from people you don’t know and invest in some good security software.’

Security firm Symantec says the spammers will next move on to Valentine’s Day-related spam.

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