Hurricane Rita scams start even earlier than Hurricane Katrina scams...
Hurricane Rita Scams Hit Before the Hurricane Lands!
For the first time, Hurricane Rita scams have popped up even before the hurricane landed -- as opposed to it taking a couple of hours after landfall for the scams to start.
More than 1,100 new domain names had been registered by Friday September 23, 2005 containing the word 'Rita.' Many also included words like "disaster," "relief" and "donations." Many of these are expected to be used for phishing scams, donation scams and for other fraudulent activities.
Auctions on eBay have also already surfaced for domain names related to Hurricane Rita. At least one has already been shut down by eBay.
We found about four times more Hurricane Katrina scams than tsunami scams. The FBI confirmed that there were more Katrina-related scams than tsunami- related scams. It is still unclear whether there will be even more Hurricane Rita scams.
Some Good News
The good news is that after Hurricane Katrina, many people and groups who can actually do something to stop these scams are working hard to deal with this problem.
According the SANS Internet Storm Center site (ISC), "a number of domain name registrars, anti-phishing, anti-spam groups, and national CERTS are working together to have these sites closed down as fast as possible."
You can send suspicious donation related spam emails to them at this address:
The Red Cross also has a special email address for reporting suspicious sites: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurricane Rita scams and info on how to protect yourself are very similar to what we recommended for Hurricane Katrina scams. Check this out now if you haven't yet.