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Symantec Warns Of Scam E-Mails Involving Christchurch Earthquake Donations

Symantec the security software firm is cautioning everyone in New Zealand that fresh e-mail scams are doing the rounds which are exploiting events of natural calamities. Actually, when an earthquake struck near Christchurch, New Zealand with a magnitude of 7.4 that the Richter scale measured on the morning of September 4, 20010, Symantec issued the above alert.

Worryingly, as per the security company, scammers lose no time in exploiting people's sentiments, as they distribute fake e-mails along with bogus websites that are crafted for stealing charitable donations intended for relief funds.

Telling more about the attack, SMD Director Steve Martin for Symantec's Asia Pacific region stated that a lot of authentic-appearing though fraudulent websites emerged in merely 24 hours since the calamity struck. Nbr.co.nz published this on September 6, 2010.

Consequently, for making sure that donations actually go to the people who are affected with the earthquake, Symantec advises donors that they must not click on web-links leading onto so-called charity sites in IMs (instant messages) or e-mails.

The company even suggests netizens not to reply to forms within e-mails or IMs which solicit passwords or personal information. Charities of repute won't ever request for details of these kinds, it notes.

Besides, people wishing to forward charities towards the Christchurch clean-up should directly visit the associated websites by manually entering their URL addresses into the web-browser thus keeping away from spoofed sites that are created for siphoning donations. It is important that web addresses are not simply copied from an electronic mail, as the related websites may be under cyber-criminals' control, the specialists at Symantec indicate.

Significantly, according to the security company, in case a user is suspicious of a website, he should call the organization via a confirmed phone number, an authorized Internet address, or via any other trusted mechanism.

Eventually, experts point out that fraudulent scam e-mails striking a place hit with a natural calamity like an earthquake are nothing new. Earlier during 2010 itself, Symantec had said that a similar spam attack followed when an earthquake hit Haiti, disrupting the lives of innumerable people in United States.

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