Gustav may still be going strong, but scammers are already making their move to take advantage of families suffering from the storm.
Louisiana’s attorney general office is monitoring more than a hundred domain names registered in the past day related to the storm, most containing words such as “charity” and “relief.” While some may be legit, many are feared to be fake fronts for crooks to steal kind-hearted people’s credit card and bank account information, then use it for their own selfish purposes. Some are even looking ahead with names related to Hanna, the next storm about to hit the U.S. coast. Several of the domains are results of squatters looking to churn out some cash from the storms and are already up for sale on eBay or Sedo.
Phishers have also started sending out e-mails to families along the Gulf Coast that ask for their bank information to “confirm” it in the storm’s wake. These same sorts of attacks all popped up in the days surrounding Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
If you’re interested in contacting a legit charity working to help families displaced by Hurricane Gustav, check out the list below. You can also find everything from live cameras and storm tracking tools to Web services devoted to helping find loved ones at our Online Storm Resource Center.
Legitimate Gustav Charities:
- American Red Cross
- Baton Rouge Area Foundation
- Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans
- Direct Relief International
- Food for the Poor
- Mercy Corps
- North Shore Animal League
- Operation USA
- Salvation Army of Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi
- Save the Children
UPDATE*** For the latest storm stream, see Hurricane Ike Live.