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Prepare For Massive Wave of Earthquake Scams

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.

Japan 158

wiredmikey sends this quote from Security Week: "Today's tragic events of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, as sad as it is, is a dream for scammers and fraudsters around the world. Tragic events are always something scammers use to their advantage, helping them prey on and exploit innocent victims. Scams are already spreading across Facebook, which started in a matter of minutes after the news broke of the earthquake in Japan. As I write this, scammers are hard at work, registering new domains and cranking out templates for their fake donation sites. This will be followed with massive volumes of email spam, Tweets through Twitter, and Facebook posts, as scammers gear up to solicit donations from around the world." As coverage of the earthquake and resulting tsunami has proceeded, collections of videos and pictures are showing the extent of the devastation. The NY Times makes the excellent point that things could have been much worse if not for building codes and quake-resistant engineering. A state of emergency was declared at one of Japan's nuclear plants, after the earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the reactors. No radiation leakage has been reported, and the US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air.

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158 comments

Disgusting (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453832)

The fact that people would take advantage of the disaster and misery at the cost of thousands of people just disgusts me. It happened with Katrina, it happened with Haiti, and I guess they're gearing up for this disaster. You fuckers, I hope you rot in hell.

Re:Disgusting (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453942)

Seriously.

Scamming is nasty business at the best of times, but (imagining I were a scammer) I could see people in places like Nigeria justifying it to themselves as getting their share from the rich west.

But this is just out and out profiting from human misery and death.

Re:Disgusting (1)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454006)

as these people are considered the below the lowest forms of scum on the earth, you can realistically color me not suprised by this.

These people have folks just waiting around for bad stuff to happen all armed with their templates for and within momemnts of word of the events breaking out they have their domains registered and sites up ready to part you with your cash and leave you a nice thank you note in the form of malware and other viruses on your systems.

They rely on the fact that in a time of distress peoples logic goes out the window and for the simple fact that you can't patch stupid.

Re:Disgusting (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455228)

You know...I'm not the type to cheat people...never have.

But even I have to admit, when up early watching this this morning...one of the first thoughts to hit my head was what domains would you register to take advantage of this situations.

I don't know why that crossed my brain..I mean, don't get me wrong I'm good for just about any legal activity that will make me a dollar, but not sure why this one hit me.

I mean...what if you did put up a site to collect for those hit hard in Japan, collected in good faith....and took out a reasonable fee for your efforts? Anything wrong with that?

I mean...this is pretty much the basis for many charities like the United Way.

At what point does it turn bad? What's the percentage to the victims vs your "overhead" where it becomes a scam?

And, if an individual wanted to do this..and genuinely be charitable...who would he give the money to that he collected?

Ok..I didn't get much sleep last night...maybe that's why I'm thinking of these questions...but I would be interested in answers and opinions.

Re:Disgusting (5, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454010)

I don't know what I find more disgusting, that these inevitable scams pop up or that I felt the need to send out a company wide email to remind people that the Red Cross and such doesn't send out grammatically incorrect bulk email requesting donations at donations@reddcroos.ru

Re:Disgusting (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454478)

just as a note
http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000&s_subsrc=RCO_BigRedButton [redcross.org]

should be close enough of a link to be useable (this is the ARC site for those not in the US)

Re:Disgusting (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454786)

Is there any guarantee that money donated to the American Red Cross will actually be spent on tsunami relief?

Re:Disgusting (3, Interesting)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455312)

No. The Red Cross actually suggests that you donate often to keep their accounts ready to deal with a disaster at a moments notice instead of them having to wait for donations. So it's possible that money they received because of a flood of donations after, for instance, the earthquake in Haiti is being funneled into relief destined for Japan right now.

Scam in Summary (0)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454700)

FTFS:The NY Times makes the excellent point that things could have been much worse if not for building codes and quake-resistant engineering.

I saw what you did there Soulskill. The NYT is already using it to push its agenda and you fell for it.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454074)

My desire to see people like this burn in hell is probably one of the few reasons I still want to believe some religious philosophies. Doesn't mean I do, but I really want to.

Re:Disgusting (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454330)

Most of the major charities who'll be dealing with this are atheist (eg. Red Cross)

Re:Disgusting (2)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454730)

Most of the major charities who deal with this are non-religious which is a world of difference away from atheist: we may disagree on theology, but we all agree that help is needed, and we want to be a part of it. And that has nothing to do with GP's point of wanting scum like this to burn in hell.

Re:Disgusting (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454796)

There's a huge difference between an organization not holding a religious stance and being atheist.

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454244)

Bet the Saudi Sheiks are f***ing delighted to take advantage of this dominating the news...

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454508)

It's not just spammers and scammers that are cashing in. Would-be serious British newspaper, The Daily Mail has given voice to a quick-off-the-mark astrologer who balmes the whole thing on a "supermoon" [posterous.com] (via Ben Goldacre)

Anyone who persists in defending that dismal rag as a legitimate journal after this heartless lump of exploitation needs to seriously re-think their world view.

Re:Disgusting (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454716)

>> The fact that people would take advantage of the disaster and misery at the cost of thousands of people just disgusts me.

This pretty much sums up the first 200,000 years of human history.

Re:Disgusting (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454896)

Hanging's too good for him. Burning's too good for him! They should be torn into little bitsy pieces and buried alive!

Re:Disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455924)

"You fuckers, I hope you rot in hell."

They won't. In fact, they will laughing hilariously all the way to the bank.

Your criticisms and condemnations are best directed at all the impulsive fools who will, once again, blithely send away their dollars to any solicitation they may stumble across.

Worst than spam (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453834)

No lifes will do anything for a buck >:(

THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453846)

A state of emergency was declared at one of Japan's nuclear plants, after the earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the reactors. No radiation leakage has been reported, and the US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air.

This, right here, is why a well funded military is so needed!

Because it's cheaper than paying for the aftermath of a godzilla attack!

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (2)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453936)

The US military isn't allowed to operate inside of US borders, IIRC. This is what the National Guard and state millitas are for, which are largely separate from the budgets and congregational wartime budget extensions (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc) are passed for. Local forces receive very little of this extended funding, from what I understand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Guard_of_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454068)

The National Guard is part of the US Military (there's the Army National Guard which is part of the Army, the Air National Guard is part of the Air Force). The US Military can and does operate within US borders. I would have to guess you're confusing it with the CIA, which is strictly prohibited from operating inside US borders. Barring the US Military from operating within the US would be a bit ridiculous, as that would mean we could not deploy our military in the event of an invasion.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454138)

I believe the funding for NG comes from state and not from Federal, as it does with the Regular Army and Reserves.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (2)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454474)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act [wikipedia.org]

The Act prohibits members of the Army, and Air Force, from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property (states and their counties and municipal divisions) within the United States.

The statute prohibits Army and Air Force personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Navy, and Marine Corps are prohibited by Department of Defense Directive, not by the Act itself.[1][2] The Coast Guard, under the Department of Homeland Security, is exempt from the Act.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454626)

Thats about law enforcement. Not say;

disaster relief
combat operations
training exercises
intelligence operations
etc.

The limitation against performing law enforcement duties means an MP can't give you a speeding ticket or arrest you on suspicion of murder, unless you're on federal property. It has nothing to do with air-lifting in supplies, or engaging in combat operations against an invading force.

Also remember back when schools integrated and US army troops were assigned to escort students across the National Guard blockade? The US army is not limited to operating outside US boarders, and never has been

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454994)

Lol I was in the military.

Yes we can train, I always trained on federal land. I dont know how much training they do elsewhere, but the best I can remember I never saw it.
Yes there may be combat operations, if congress approves it.
Yes there may be Disaster Relief, usually only reservists and NG.
Intelligence Operations? Expand on that please.

The military can do pretty much everything, but it all boils down to congressional approval in most cases. There were big concerns with standing armies in the early days of our country so alot of restrictions have been placed on how the military can act especially on home turf.

In Japan it was likely someone called up the US airbase and was like, hey can you help? Well in that situation depending on the SOFA agreement, they could probably scramble the planes right away. If it happened in the US and the base was called, most likely they would be getting approval from far up the chain of command to act.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455346)

Actually...the individual state in question has to approve it.

We saw this played in in the Katrina disaster. There were actually a good number of military resources, the National Guard for instance...that were staged and ready to act, but our then Gov. Blankstare...errr...Blanco...waited forever to give the ok for them to act within the state borders as they needed to.

The NG stayed on for quite a time after Katrina to help police in New Orleans..but it was on a temporary measure and only as long as the temp measure was approved by the Governor. Even then..they had some legal powers limited moreso than a state, or local policeman had.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455594)

My comments were aimed more at the active component of the military needing congressional approval.

Your absolutely right that the NG can act on orders from the state government. If I'm not mistaken the enlistment oath for the NG even reflects that. The reasoning for that (I believe) is because the NG doesn't act as a standing army, but more of a state militia. They are also funded in a large part by the state (IIRC).

I spent my time active, so I only have a passing familiarity with the way the reservists and NG work. The point I was trying to make though was that if its not on federal land then active duty needs some sort of approval for doing pretty much anything.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (0)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454462)

Isn't it about time you guys updated your constitution to reflect the fact that you are a modern democracy now with very little chance of a military coup if you allow the Army to undertake civil defense operations within your own borders.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453990)

You don't need a military to have massive waterlift capability. Well-funded fire fighters would to the job.

Militaries are there to kill people and break things. If you're using them for something other than that, you're using them too much.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454302)

Yes, we should totally pay out the ass to unnecessarily create redundant massive and expensive logistical systems, and when there are life threatening disasters, some of those massive and expensive logistical systems should sit completely idle and not life a finger, because that's just not their role, fuck it if people die.

Is that sarcastic enough, or should I try harder?

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (3, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455640)

The military has always been used for things other than killing people and breaking things up. Who do you thing built the roads in the Roman Empire, or built the castles dotting Europe, or that wall thingy in China. Even in our times, the Army corps of Engineers is constantly being called upon to drain swamps, dredge canals, or put up bridges.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454234)

Heh, and I bet you won't hear one peep of appreciation from those in Japan who resent US military presence. Just another example of where after being maligned and diminished (especially by the DPJ), the US military still saves people's bacon, and in a matter of months some group in Japan will be back on the drum to get the US out. Ingrates.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454894)

You do realize we're there because we whipped em in war, nuked em twice, and then disallowed them from having a real standing army for years right? I'm not saying what we did was wrong, but calling them ingrates and expecting them to be all gushy in love with our presence might be a tad unreasonable too ;)

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454980)

The US military presence is what allows Japan to maintain the illusion and appearance of pacifism, and relieves them of the need to develop nuclear weapons. A number of prominent Japanese politicians have said that if the US's capability or willingness to defend Japan was in doubt, that Japan would drop the "SDF" fiction and develop long-range offensive weapons, including nuclear arms.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455136)

I don't doubt that for a second. But I also don't think it's unreasonable that some members of their society might want that to happen so they can stand on their own without foreign military in their borders, and I wouldn't call them ingrates for feeling that way.

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454928)

Has Al-Kaida claimed responsibility yet? When's the retaliatory liberation and which country is it going to be?

Re:THIS is why we pay so much for our Military! (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455440)

This, right here, is why a well funded military is so needed!!

You don't need a well funded military to do disaster relief. Any well funded Disaster and Emergency Response team will do.

MASSIVE WAVE LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453870)

MOAR LIKE PREPARE FOR A HIROSHIMA OF NUCLEAR SCAMS AMIRITE?

YES I AM SHOUTING

coverage of the earthquake and resulting tsunami has proceeded, collections of videos and pictures are showing the extent of the devastation. The NY Times makes the excellent point that things could have been much worse if not for building codes and quake-resistant engineering. A state of emergency was declared at one of Japan's nuclear plants, after the earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the reactors. No radiation leakage has been reported, and the US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air.

White cars (5, Funny)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453894)

It appears that one way to improve your chance of survival in a tsunami is to not have a white car.
http://i.imgur.com/ddHiq.jpg [imgur.com]

Re:White cars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35453996)

Ah - the problem with that theory is that the waves washed the colors right off of those cars, so we can no longer tell which ones were white, and which ones were other colors.

Re:White cars (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454058)

I told those car manufacturers time and time again not to use water colours to paint those cars but they wouldn't listen.

Re:White cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454040)

Maybe the white cars float better?

Re:White cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454304)

FYI, White is the most popular color for car in Japan

Re:White cars (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454348)

Not really. The relevant video [cnn.com] also shows plenty of black, grey, green, and blue cars being washed away too. And boats!

Re:White cars (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454430)

Boats float? Who'd a thunk it?

Always do your research before donating (5, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453918)

Not just to charities created because of tragedies, but to any charity at all. Websites such as Charity Watchdog (http://www.charitywatch.org/) exist to allow you to confirm how legit any given organization is. (When in doubt, just throw ten bucks at Red Cross International or Doctors Without Borders.)

Re:Always do your research before donating (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454672)

Are you kidding? Red Cross can be corrupt [google.com] as any.

In fact I have some first hand experience dealing with those fuckers.

Re:Always do your research before donating (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454804)

I repeat myself: Is there any guarantee that money donated to the American Red Cross will actually be spent on tsunami relief?

Re:Always do your research before donating (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455462)

Is there any guarantee that money donated to the American Red Cross will actually be spent on tsunami relief?

Why are you asking that in response to a suggestion to donate to the International Red Cross? [icrc.org] (The ICRC donations page does not yet list Japan.)

Anyway, american.redcross.org [redcross.org] says:

Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

arguably (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453958)

isnt news for nerds, we have known for a while this happens.

what i want to know as a nerd is completely off topic,
but in the nation of japan how is it the death toll so far for this tsunami has only been reported as "hundreds" of people and not thousands dead?
what technology has japan used or is japan using thats saved so many lives?
Will they use rescue-robotics like robo-q or the quince prototype to locate and identify survivors?
or something more powerful like the Tmsuk T53 to lift heavy concrete slabs and debris?

Re:arguably (5, Informative)

Leafheart (1120885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454050)

what technology has japan used or is japan using thats saved so many lives?

Japan has an impressive Earthquake alert system. They picked the shaking 1 minute before it main force hit. That gave time for most of the people to evacute the buildings as needed. Same goes for the Tsunami. Where they didn't have time to react though, like in Sendai, which was absurdly close to the epicenter, the death tool was worst.

Re:arguably (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454208)

death tool

I'm imagining some huge rotating steel tentacle with a claw on the end. Is that what you meant?

Re:arguably (2)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454124)

There's a significant difference between "number dead" and "number confirmed dead". The actual number who have died is unknown, so most outlets report the numbers that are known to be dead.

That means that the number will (sadly) climb much higher. With 1,300 miles of shoreline affected by the tsunami, I expect we won't be talking in the hundreds for very long, unfortunately.

Re:arguably (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454548)

It's not robotic rescue dogs, it's building codes that reduce the need for them in the first place.

Compare to China recently where a less powerful [nytimes.com] quake sent brick buildings toppling onto and killing tens of thousands of people, including government buildings such as schoolhouses that collapsed and killed the children inside.

Building codes are one of the areas where it's almost impossible to argue against the need for government regulation.

Mod Parent UP!!!! (3)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455200)

It's not robotic rescue dogs, it's building codes that reduce the need for them in the first place.

I live in SoCal. I tell my friends from other places that the safest place to be when an earthquake hits is "somewhere else", but if you can't be there, then SoCal (and NorCal, too) is one of the best places to be.

Why? Because we know that the Big One is coming... someday... Our building codes are designed so that while the building might not be safe to occupy, it will stand long enough to let you get out. And the codes are under constant revision after every earthquake. Example, the '94 Northridge quake was a kind they hadn't seen or planned for. Codes got revised because of it.

Both Los Angeles and St. Louis sit on top of major faults. Which city would you rather be in when a 7.5 quake hits?

I'll bite (2)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455712)

Building codes are one of the areas where it's almost impossible to argue against the need for government regulation.

I propose a building code that stipulates carbon nanotube framing and internal airbags, plus a municipal ordinance prohibiting tchotchkes weighing more than 2 kg. Surely that would save even more lives in the event of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

On Shakey Ground (2)

Mirey (1324435) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453970)

"Prepare For Massive Wave"

Don't you think it's a bit soon to be making puns?

Re:On Shakey Ground (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454170)

no, the waves move fast in the ocean. If you don't make the joke before the wave hits shore, it would be a complete wash out.

Re:On Shakey Ground (1)

nzap (1985014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454214)

It's always too soon to be making puns.

Re:On Shakey Ground (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454280)

"Prepare For Massive Wave"

Don't you think it's a bit soon to be making puns?

I thought it was a lousy pun.

A better one would be "Prepare for a tsunami".

Re:On Shakey Ground (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454370)

You apparently don't think so, given your subject...

It didn't help last time. (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35453994)

Listen, people are idiots and fools are easily parted with their money. More, people have a short attention span and never follow up on the results.

People were suckered into the whole Haiti thing last year. Morons "texting" cash to charities and schiesters like Bill Clinton and George Bush encouraging people to "just send us your cash". And in the end? No accountability. I don't even need to go into the troubles with the Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars, can't seem to account for where all that money went to. Last I recall, Clinton was present to see the handing over of three million bucks or some similarly ridiculously low number.

You had global donations from governments promised in the billions (at least five billion, I believe). You had moron celebrities holding telethons and telling you that you should give your cash.

And idiots gave their cash. But they never looked in on what was going on. Why should they? I texted my $10 to some place, so I'm a good person now! I don't need to figure out whatever happened after that!

Meanwhile, it's a year later and we're told that people are still living in tents and everyone is dying of dysentery or whatever.

Of course, Japan is less likely to be prone to this kind of problem, I think. The only concern there will be with fake charities trying to scam you out of donations through fake websites and other services. And that's what this article was talking about, to begin with. The problem in Haiti was different, in that they're not the power that is Japan. They're fucking Haiti. And actual real organizations simply behaved criminally after extorting donations from you.

Re:It didn't help last time. (2)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454088)

Listen, people are idiots and fools are easily parted with their money. More, people have a short attention span and never follow up on the results.

It's quite true actually, I didn't even read past this line...

Re:It didn't help last time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454572)

It's quite true actually, I didn't even read past this line...

You didn't miss anything. He's basically blubbering on about how everyone is an idiot but him and trying to guilt people into being more like him. As if he is the only person in the world who realizes that scams exist and people give charitable donations to feel better about themselves.

News flash, GP. Old news doesn't become new or interesting just by calling everyone idiots. Try putting some thought into your post.

Re:It didn't help last time. (1)

Schwhat (1993980) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454844)

The low number is normal. If it was near the high number of the actual donation something is wrong. They usually don't lie about numbers about how much is donated (because of good publicity of how successful the program is). Then the amount diminishes due to expenses, etc. All official charities, are actual corporations that need to pay their workers, CEOs, VPs, etc. I guarantee if they collect $10 mill, less than $5 mill actually goes to actually helping. Worse are government aid, which could mean they give them aid which costs up to that donation amount they stated (which means food, water, etc. that is probably brought at the over priced amount and aide workers - yes people get paid to work, duh - are subtracted to that amount). It's usually never clear cut money tossed at the victim's gov't. Or the amount could be tied down through some legal issues and the victims never see a dime for many years to come.

Re:It didn't help last time. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454872)

Yet more evidence that you can't con an honest man, amirite? I wonder why there's a certain type of person who compulsively has to cast con victims as perpetrators (to the point that they seek to identify the source of "greed") whenever scams and other cons are uncovered on Slashdot.

Re:It didn't help last time. (2)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454960)

You were on the right track but then went away from your point. Without naming names, it is awfully hard separating the scams from the "legitimate" charities that actually don't spend the money you donate on the crisis but use it for overhead and salaries. Just look at how much some of these main-stream charities spend on advertising (using your dollars, of course). You think all that advertising is free? Nope, they pay for it just so that they can get your name, address, phone and e-mail address. That way, they can hit you up again when the next disaster rolls around.

Do what I do, and I'm doing it today: Keep your money in your wallet and donate blood instead. I have a high platelet count, so I can donate three units of platelets in less than 80 minutes. I know it's going to a good cause and it's something that money can't buy; by law, blood from paid donors can't be used for transfusions.

Use known agents (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454030)

With charity there is just too much risk with using agents. Even if they are legitimate, there is not way to know how much money will end up in the hands of people that need help. The Red Cross/Red Crescent, MSF, or the like will tend to get help to the people who need it.

What I hear most charities say is that people should give regularly so the agencies will have the resources to handle these emergency.

Re:Use known agents (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454078)

Of course, they say that. They need a regular source of income for their highly paid professional charity executives.

Re:Use known agents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454204)

The solution to these highly paid executives is for you to gain the education and experience needed to manage an international charity, and offer your services for free. I am sure they will provide you with a modest studio apartment for you to sleep in, a Subway account to meet your nutritional needs, and a bus pass to move around town. I am sure you can find various means to fly around the world on the cheap, staying at friends house to save hotel costs. Which is not to say that there is not great deal of administrative waste in all firms, just that people expect to be compensated for their skills, even if such compensation come from charitable sources.

Re:Use known agents (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454340)

Sure, you should be compensated, but if you're in the "charity business", you would think you'd be a little more ethically inclined. How do you justify hundreds of thousands in salary for a position where you head a *charity*? I would say $500,000/yr is a bit extreme for the Red Cross and $1,000,000/yr is a bit extreme for the United Way. You aren't talking about providing salaries that make sure these people can focus on the job rather than living in a cardboard box. You're talking about paying them enough to be millionaires on charitable donations.

Re:Use known agents (2)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455064)

At the end of the day it's about using the money to make the best difference. If paying 100k a year to put someone in that position organizing charities across the globe where a single decision could waste or make hundreds of thousands of dollars it might be worth it to have a high enough salary for that position that you attract someone who is extremely competent at making those organizational decisions and actions and thus gives you a net gain in efficiency. anyways, there's a lot of watchdog sites that show the overhead factor for different charities and they are usually fairly low. While the top person might be making a good bit you have to understand the breadth and scale of the responsibility they have and how terribly it could effect every level of the organization if they don't perform.

Help Prevent Disaster Scams (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454056)

Give to the Organization for Scam Prevention Now!

Re:Help Prevent Disaster Scams (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455096)

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Help Prevent Disaster Scams (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455226)

I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

That's going to cost you. How much do you have?

Where's the line? (2)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454144)

So I'm just a bit in the gray on this issue. Where's the line drawn on what's morally acceptable with this? If I immediately run and sell all my Japanese stocks and instead buy into rice after seeing all the fields on tv being destroyed, does that mean I'm evil and taking advantage of this situation? I would still end up being in a financially better position as a result of a tragedy.

Re:Where's the line? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454246)

If you can equate legitimate business to pretending to be a charity to extort money out of people then I suppose you have a moral conundrum.

A big difference in your example is that rice companies are actually selling rice, charity scams aren't providing charitable works.

Re:Where's the line? (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454268)

You're OK, morally speaking, if you donate a part of your new-found earnings to legitimate earthquake relief funds.

Re:Where's the line? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454284)

Don't introduce moral ambiguity where it doesn't exist. At no point did you take money from people under the pretense of helping only to not help anyone but yourself.

Re:Where's the line? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454354)

You can do whatever you want, as long as you buy carbon credits to make up for it.

Re:Where's the line? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454390)

Yes, if there is a food shortage as a result of farm land being destroyed and you endeavor to profit by this, then yes, I'd say you were evil.

Re:Where's the line? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454410)

Where is the moral gray area?
You are doing something that does not harm anyone as rice prices will go up no matter what you do.
Taking money under the guise of charity and keeping it is theft by deception. That is both theft and theft of money that could have helped others.

Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454178)

This is the first word that come to me when I see the pictures of the hearthquake. Incredible...

Daniel Colleman
http://www.danielcolleman.com [danielcolleman.com]

So... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454422)

Does that mean I should ignore that email I got about a Japanese princess?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455104)

Does that mean I should ignore that email I got about a Japanese princess?

Yeah, according to my plumber she's been safely evacuated to another castle.

Do they need aid? (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454538)

I mean, aside from the immediate need for search and rescue, is Japan really going to need donations to recover from this? Last I heard, they were one of the wealthier nations.

Relax (5, Funny)

droopus (33472) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454564)

No aid needed. The GOP has voted to send an emergency humanitarian shipment of tax cuts to the affected area.

Re:Relax (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455652)

No that's not correct. You don't aid other people in disasters. They have to learn to be self-reliant. If you aid people in disasters, they will come to expect aid and cease to have their own disaster preparedness. I as a real American won't have any of this socialist disaster welfare. Altruism is evil incarnate.

</sarcasm>

Re:Relax (1, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455950)

An important note: if you don't receive any of the tax cuts, do not be alarmed. The tax cuts will be distributed to the rich and should trickle down to you shortly.

Insurance policy exclusions will be the BIG SCAM (2)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454582)

Just like AIG mortgages, Katrina floods, So Cal wild fires, and America's heath plan, when its time for that insurance in times of disaster, suddenly you realize you don't really have the coverage required to restore your losses. Its kind of like most things when you pay in advance of receiving the goods.
Lets just see if the insurance industry fell into the cracks, yet again, leaving flood victims "high and dry" in the low and wet. I bet that earthquake coverage just got washed away by all of that salt water. So it you gotta have boat insurance under that much water.

"Its a Tsunami not an earthquake, Mr. Miagi....so sorry" ....

All of those disaster policies only sold you a false sense of security, in exchange for years of cash..... Who gets to break their legs if they don't pay...another act of God, or the Yakuza?

Prepare for Massive Wave of Scams... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454718)

yep. politicians are already holding news conferences.

Red Cross is Legit (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455056)

text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10

Re:Red Cross is Legit (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455680)

Please don't. 90999 may be legit, but we don't want to be teaching people to donate by sending off texts to random numbers. If you want to give to Red Cross, go to their website, it's much easier to see where the money is actually going there.

and this is why (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455248)

I do my best every day... why wait for a desaster to happen before helping a fellow friend.

"US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant" (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455606)

I know this basically means that the USAF is acting like a glorified FedEx: expediting delivery of a critically needed resource. And I'm glad for that, a China Syndrome reactor accident would make Chernobyl look like Child's play (although, it's Japan, so it would be an Argentina Syndrome reactor accident).

But I couldn't get the image out of my mind of Slim Pickens riding a refridgerator out of a bomber's bay doors over Tokyo while whooping it up.

Air Force (2)

bearoderse (1488341) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455800)

I know its prob already been said and I am well aware I am a horrible person for saying this but does anyone else find it morbidly comical that the US Air Force is now flying over Japan to try and prevent a nuclear incident?

DUUUUH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455862)

The NY Times makes the excellent point that things could have been much worse if not for building codes and quake-resistant engineering.

Thank you Einstein, we would never have deduced that on our own.
Can you also comment if it is sunny outside, would I see blue sky if I step out of my house?

coolant huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455992)

US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air

Well the coolant is water so I'm not sure if a power plant on the shores of the Pacific is necessarily extremely grateful for this generous gesture.

It's heartening though to see the US have done a 180 turnaround after the tardy hurricane Katrina fiasco.

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