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Well-known Charity Abused in E-mail Scam

Some of the netizens in New Jersey have reportedly fallen victim to a phishing scheme that abuses a popular charity to trick people into believing that they are doing a noble deed, while fraudsters are phishing off huge amounts from them.

Reports claim that Habitat for Humanity is the charity that is being abused in this scam to trick users into opening and reading the fake e-mail that offers a job of gathering money for the charity organization. According to Charles Pavelites, special agent, FBI, the authors of the e-mail ask the recipients to keep 10% of the money gathered with them and forward the remaining to their bank account, as per the news published by The New New Internet on May 17, 2010. He added that the money is actually going to scammers.

The other possibility is that the fraudsters may ask the victim to forward the credit card number of a donor to them.

Security experts said that this particular scam is different from others in that it gives very less room for recipients to suspect that they are being conned.

Pavelites explained that until and unless scammers use donor's credit card repeatedly, he wouldn't notice that there's something wrong, reported NorthJersey.com on May 17, 2010.

Officials of the Habitat for Humanity are aware of this scam and have brought it to the notice of the FBI and various organizations that keep an eye on phishing scams, including the NWCCC.

Duane Bates, spokesperson for Humanity International, stated that they have posted a warning on their official website, as per the news published by NorthJersey.com on May 17, 2010.

In the meantime, security experts have admitted that tracking down the criminals is not an easy task. They are extremely fast in draining out bank accounts or use such wire transfers that are tough to trace. Moreover, they rapidly switch to new scams, shutting down old e-mail accounts and opening fresh ones with new Internet providers.

Thus, all that can be done is to remind people that they need to be extremely suspicious and cautious, said Barbara Dunn, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Paterson, reported NorthJersey.com on May 17, 2010.

Related article: Whale Phishing Attack on Executives Spoofs Tax Notification

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