- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Americans are rushing to donate to victims of Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, but watchdog groups say watch out: The dozens of websites that just registered domains related to the attack may be fake charity sites seeking to profit from the tragedy.

CNN reported that just hours after the attacks, these domains were registered: bostonmarthondonations.com, bostonmarathonvictimfund.com and bostonmarathonattack.com.

Nonprofit spokesmen say to be on guard: It’s too early to know if these sites are legitimate or fake, but charity fraud frequently comes within days of tragedies, CNN reported. And charities that rely on social media to collect donations — or steal credit card numbers — are particularly easy to stage.

One for the Boston bombing has already been outed. A fraudster set up a Twitter account, @_BostonMarathon, promising to donate $1 for every retweet, CNN reported. Twitter executives closed the account — but by then, it had already received 50,000 retweets. And Twitter warned: More Boston-related scams are “likely,” CNN reported.

“Social media, in particular, makes it very easy to reach a lot of people quickly, when emotions are running high and people feel the need to take action, any action, to help,” H. Art Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance said, in CNN.

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