News Story


Countywide - Internet Scams Related to Boston Marathon Bombing
4/19/2013 1:00:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Beware of Internet Scams Related to Boston Marathon Bombing



Date & Time:

Apr. 19, 2013

Unit(s) Responsible:

Sheriff's Special Investigations Bureau



It took only minutes after Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon for people to register hundreds of domain names in an effort to use the Internet to collect money from the public on behalf of the victims of tragedy.


Some of those registered domain names will use this as an opportunity to take advantage of people's good will by committing fraud.


Multiple fake charities have already been created, and thieves will use a variety of methods, including social networking sites, fake websites, and direct e-mails to commit fraud.


Many of the fraudulent websites contain viruses or spyware that can damage the user's computer or their network.


The following guidelines should be adhered to when accessing information about the bombings or participating with any charities associated with this tragedy:


  • Donate to charities you know and trust. Be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight in connection with current events.


  • Don't give out personal or financial information, including your credit card or bank account number, unless you know the charity is reputable.


  • Check out the charity with the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Watch, or Guide Star.


  • Be cautious of e-mails or websites that claim to provide information because they may contain viruses.


  • Do not open unsolicited (spam) e-mails, or click on links/attachments contained in those messages.


  • Never reveal personal or financial information in any e-mail or to a telephone solicitor.


  • Do not go to untrusted or unfamiliar websites to view information about the bombings.


  • Never send sensitive information over the Internet. Always check a website's security and confirm its legitimacy. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).


Additional information can be found at the website of the Federal Trade Commission, which provides a variety of resources aimed at protecting consumers from fraud.


Go to for more information.


Source material: Federal Trade Commission


Prepared by:

Sgt. Eric Buschow


Media Release Date:

Apr. 19, 2013


Follow-Up Contact:

Sgt. Eric Buschow (805)947-8129


Approved by:

Capt. Jerry Hernandez