- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Internet scammers exploited this weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando by soliciting donations in the aftermath through a phony Twitter account attributed to the Pulse nightclub.

The fake “@PulseOrlandoUSA” account was suspended Monday afternoon by Twitter, but not until after it was used to successfully swindle money from social media users, Ars Technica reported.

Touted as the “official” Twitter account for the now infamous Florida gay nightclub, @PulseOrlandoUSA asked followers to visit a website where they were told they could donate to victims of the Sunday morning attack.

A gunman killed 49 victims and wounded more than 50 at the Pulse club before he was killed by a SWAT team.

The website claimed to be collecting donations that would be used to send bottled water and cookies to victims of the attack through Amazon’s Prime delivery service, Ars reported Monday. When visitors attempted to contribute, however, they were asked to make their payment using Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency designed to enable anonymous financial transactions.

Ars acknowledged that the phony site was a “fairly transparent scam” rife with incorrect grammar and broken links. By using an online service that logs Bitcoin transactions, however, the tech site was able to determine that the administrators of the fake fundraising site reaped roughly $30 before being shut down.

Twitter suspended the fake Pulse account on Monday, and the website was shut down after Ars contacted the hosting company, the tech site said.

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