Scammers didn't wait long to exploit the Boston tragedy

April 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Scammers didn't wait long to take advantage of people wanting to help those affected by the Boston Marathon explosions.

The horrific images from the Boston Marathon explosions have touched many Americans but, sadly, scammers are hoping to pull on your heart strings and more.

Joey Fernandez with the Better Business Bureau said, "Everyone wants to pitch in right now, everyone want to help and scammers see that as an opportunity for them to get a little piece of the action."

Fernandez says scammers are out in full force trying to take advantage of you during an emotional time. Within minutes and hours of the explosion, fraudulent web sites popped up online.

You not only have to keep a close eye on your computer, but scammers are coming after your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook, and in some cases even sending text messages to your phone.

"Always look into the organization before you make any decisions," said Fernandez. "Check on the organization and just do your background check. If you're giving your money away you want to make sure it goes to the right place."

The Better Business Bureau cautions people who want to give or help to make sure they are verified. You can go to the Better Business Bureau website, to see a list of legitimate agencies.

"You should never make a split decision," said Fernandez. "You should never just hand over a check. If that organization is legitimate, you can wait 24 hours to make that decision they're not going to go anywhere. Obviously there is a need so and that need is not going to go away immediately."

So whether scammers come to your door or after you online, experts say doing your homework can go a long way in helping the people who really need it.


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