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FBI Warns: Many Tsunami Relief Pleas Are Fake

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the mailboxes-inundated dept.

Spam 353

lgrinberg writes "Even in the face of terrible disasters such as the Tsunami that hit South East Asia and Africa in late December, many are finding ways to take advantage of it and make money off of it. An example is fake websites that claim to be non-profit charitable organizations that help out the victims when they really take all the money for themselves. Other instances are emails or websites written by people who claim to be survivors of the disaster and are asking for help. The FBI warns that many of these are fake and recommends people to help via known non-profit organizations."

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How can they sleep at night...? (5, Informative)

Lindsay Lohan (847467) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305264)

many are finding ways to take advantage of it and make money off of it
ZDNet Australia [zdnet.com.au] had a good article a few days ago about a website, http://www.incybernet.com [incybernet.com] that the Red Cross and Tasmanian police were investigating for fraud. They were using the Red Cross logo, soliciting for credit card, money order, or cash donations. Of course, they wouldn't return calls from the mobile phone number listed on the website.

Amazingly, the site is still up. The owner, "Damion", offers the following weak apology:
"My sincere apology to redcross Australia and world vision Australia , and other well know charity's for disfame i might of bought to your relief efforts or your company"

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (5, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305275)

Not only that, it doesn't render well in Firefox. What is wrong with these people?

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (5, Funny)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305331)

They probably figured whoever is smart enough to use Firefox will be smart enough to think twice about donating.

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (1)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305348)

Through my unauthorised site to accept donations i did not raise no money nore did no one donate to the site

Am I just overly-skeptical... or is this claim quite hard to believe?

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305400)

I have no doubt that it's completely true through the use of the double negative. In plain English, '...did not raise no money,' is raised money, and '...nore did no one,' is some people did. So now we have, 'Through my unauthorised site to accept donations i did raise money and people donated to the site.'

That or he is just this side of illiterate.

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (1)

dingfelder (819778) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305413)

im betting that he is illiterate AND he did raise money :D

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305409)

Through my unauthorised site to accept donations i did not raise no money nore did no one donate to the site
Am I just overly-skeptical... or is this claim quite hard to believe?
It is. It's also extremely atricious English (dobule negatives). I try not to be irritated by grammar/spelling errors, but people writing in such a phonetic Neanderthal way as
disfame i might of bought
and 'nore', etc., makes sparks in my lobes.

Just so you know (-1, Flamebait)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305449)

The Red Cross has a patent on that logo, and they aggressively defend it, even against other philanthropic, non-profit, and medical organizations.

I know of at least one case where a medical school had a red cross simply included as part of a graphic on a webpage... no reference to the charity, the international red cross, or anything of the sort... it was simply included as part of a larger graphic. They were forced to remove it under threat of legal action.

The red cross are definitely aggressive defenders of what they consider to be their exclusive symbol.

Re:Just so you know (4, Funny)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305600)

Sorry to have to do this --

I am revoking your slashdot license. Although your spelling is above average, your cofunsion of the concepts of trademark, patent and copyright are unacceptable. Please note you are still fully qualified to post at fark.

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305508)

"How can they sleep at night...?"

I feel the same way about most religions who take money from their parishioners and buy gold alters and the like while still claiming to be charitable organizations.

Moral Insomnia (2, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305522)

How can they sleep at night? Well, siphoning off some charitable contributions is evil, but not as evil as, say, hitting somebody over the head and taking their wallet.

And let's not forget all those "legitimate" charities that spend as much as 80% of their contributions on their own "expenses". (The standard of the "charity industry" is supposed to be 25% overhead -- but I find even that much repulsive.) Which is why, when I reach for my own wallet, I examine the organization I'm giving to as carefully as the cause they're raising funds for.

Re:Moral Insomnia (2, Insightful)

AntiNazi (844331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305638)

How can they sleep at night? Well, siphoning off some charitable contributions is evil, but not as evil as, say, hitting somebody over the head and taking their wallet.

many would argue that. atleast in #2 you have to work for the cash and the person has a chance in hell of defending themself...

On top of a pile of money.... (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305626)

surrounded by many beautiful woman.

Come 'on poeple, not to troll or anything but this isn't anything to be surprised over. Heck, real charities were throwing out warnings about this crap as soon as talk of charity hit. People are evil, film at 11. Get used to it.

Now what is kinda fscked up is seeing spam used for this, especially ala 419 scamming. Still, you got to be kinda dumb to fall for this:

My home and everything I own was destroyed by the Tsunami, except mysteriously for my computer and the power lines running to it. Truely it is a miracle. Now if you'd just send me some money....

Re:How can they sleep at night...? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305633)

How can they sleep at night...?

I thought this was basic psych stuff.

There are people that simply don't care about anyone other than themselves. They simply don't or can't put themselves in the shoes of the people they deal with. Often, this type of is called a sociopath or psychopath.

Closely related, there are also people that truly have malicious intent against others. They'll do anything they can to benefit themselves.

I'm doing my bit for the Tsunami! (0, Troll)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305272)

I've bought myself a new Plasma Screen TV, a big bundle of DVDs, and I'm letting the fucking gooks starve!

Re:I'm doing my bit for the Tsunami! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305458)

You are an example of these fucking pricks we're talking about, you rod munching asshole. While you are getting fucked by your lover up the ass I hope you gag on one of those DVD's.

The worst thing I heard of... (5, Informative)

Peden (753161) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305282)

Happened in Sweden (or maybe Britain). When the lists of missing persons was release, some people cross-referenced it to the list in the phone-book. Then they went out and fsking robbed the houses of the mising persons!

LOL (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305324)

Damn, I wish I had thought of that. They're dead; what do they need their stuff for?

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305447)

Now seriously, why can't /. delete worthless vomit like this from its userlist? What a malformed stench. Luke727 has all the appeal of a paper cut.

Re:The worst thing I heard of... (1)

say (191220) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305344)

At least it happened here, in Norway, but probably other places as well.

Re:The worst thing I heard of... (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305352)

I heard it other way round: the swedish government did not release the missing lists in first place to prevent those incidents.

Re:The worst thing I heard of... (5, Informative)

Looke (260398) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305385)

That is what happened last time Sweden was hit by an accident this large. When the ferry Estonia sank in 1994, 800 or so were killed. This experience is the most important reason why the list of missing/dead Swedes has not been published yet.

Re:The worst thing I heard of... (2, Informative)

henrik (98) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305465)

The list was never released by the state department (UD) in Sweden due to fear of this as it happened earlier when lists such as this was released to the public. So somebody told you a lie about it happening this time.

The thing that did happen was that when newspapers and tabloids published names and photos of missing that relatives sent them; then some of those were robbed.

Sounds like a great idea. (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305296)

So, I can make people think they are helping the victims and actually not help the victims? This is a win-win situation. Where do I sign up?

OH GUSH (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305298)

I just donated $100 on Amazon.com!!

I'm sorry, but... (-1, Troll)

djkoolaide (729441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305301)

No shit? This goes on whenever any kind of disaster happens. How is this news, and even more importantly, how is this Slashdot news?

Re:I'm sorry, but... (2, Insightful)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305356)

It's news because people forget and need to be reminded that goodwill shouldn't overpower good sense.

Wikipedia (5, Informative)

JaxWeb (715417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305302)

As many of you have probably seen, Wikipedia is listing charities in various countries of a temporary page. They mention the need to look out for fraud, but I hope none of the sites listed are fraudulent in any way. The page is here [wikipedia.org] .

This is a news story [sky.com] about somebody changing e-mail headers to pretend to be the British government confirming friends of the recipients to be dead. Very sick. Luckily, the police acted in this case.

You'd think it would go without saying.. (4, Interesting)

wfberg (24378) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305306)

Why do dumb/naive people keep falling for scams like this? Each disaster these scams pop up, each time the public is warned about them, but it still works..

Is there some sort of university program I'm not aware of, pumping out mindless peons by the thousands each year so they can make the same mistake as others did last year? Apart from Hamburger University of course..

Then again, University of Miami law professor Enrique Fernandez-Barros [miami.com] somehow managed to become part of a 419 scam in which $1.68 million got lost...

Re:You'd think it would go without saying.. (1)

kiddailey (165202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305416)


One of my buddies way back in high school used to have a saying:
"People are people, and people are stupid"
I usually think that to myself anytime one of these type of things is reported or otherwise mentioned :)

Re:You'd think it would go without saying.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305431)

First of all, naive != dumb.

happens to the best among us. It's the human condition. Don't be so judgmental.

Re:You'd think it would go without saying.. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305493)

Is there some sort of university program I'm not aware of, pumping out mindless peons by the thousands each year so they can make the same mistake as others did last year?

Yeah, its called the public school system.

How many schools even have a "home ec" course anymore? And of those, how many actually teach useful modern information like how to balance a checkbook, how to read a credit card statement, how to keep a budget, how to compute interest, how to critically read an advertisement, etc? From what I can tell, the answer is almost zero. People need a firm grounding in basic, day-to-day economics and high school is the place it ought to happen - it certainly will be more useful to 90+% of the students than memorizing the dates of the civil war...

Re:You'd think it would go without saying.. (1)

joranbelar (567325) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305587)

Apart from Hamburger University of course...

Hey! The University of Hamburg [uni-hamburg.de] is quite a prestigious university, you insensitive clod!

Re:You'd think it would go without saying.. (1)

moz25 (262020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305596)

Perhaps many people are trusting and caring and nice to take pleas seriously. At the same time, they haven't yet properly learned that anything they get in their mailbox through spam can safely be dismissed as scams. The better keyword would be "uninformed" or otherwise "unexperienced".

I have a special folder for 419 spams... it's amusing and easy to recognize as they all follow the same pattern. Yes, it is surprising that even intelligent people can fall for such scams if they let their greed get in the way. On the other hand, more admirable emotions can also get in the way of common sense.

Giving intelligently (5, Informative)

GuyMannDude (574364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305309)

Even legitimate charities are sometimes a bit sloppy with how they spend the contributions they get. Many non-profits spend a considerable portion of their donations on fund-raising (read: telemarketers) and compensation of management. One of my favorite non-profits is the American Institute of Philanthropy [charitywatch.org] which is a watch-dog organization that releases reports that "rate" the charities on various criteria. Given the fact that there are so very many organizations that are set up to aid the tsunami victims, I encourage my fellow slashdotians to give their money to an organization that gets an A rating in the guide.

GMD

Re:Giving intelligently (4, Informative)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305372)

FYI, American Red Cross is rated A+.

Re:Giving intelligently (2, Informative)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305571)

The biggest advantage of the existing charities is that some of them are already set up for this type of relief effort, and some were already active in the affected areas. Even if an organization did not have stocked warehouses in the right places, some organizations have people with experience at dealing with emergency situations and can get things moving in the right direction quickly. Those organizations who know how to deal with the political and physical infrastructures also have an advantage over new groups.

Nevertheless, despite the risk of money being diverted, money is the best contribution. It can be sent around the world quickly, and aid organizations can buy appropriate supplies from the best locations. You might want to donate cans of baked beans and blankets, but it costs a lot of money and time to get such material to the other side of the world and baked beans and blankets might not be appropriate.

What does it take to not be an asshole? (4, Informative)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305315)

During 9/11, people were shocked that street vendors sold water for $20 a bottle and nearby jewelry stores were robbed. I always thought "Well, if the disaster was of a much bigger magnitude, people would probably not do this."

Now, 150,000 dead, and we still have assholes trying to make a buck off it. What does it take for these people to learn morals? Is the extra cash worth that much when there's now several thousand orphans? Do we need, what, a nuclear holocaust to get assholes to knock it off?

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305349)

Selling a bottle of water for $20 isn't fraud (although it's unkind). Telling people that their donations are going to help tsunami victims, when in fact it's going to buy your new car, is fraud.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

Riddlefox (798679) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305622)

I don't think he was implying that selling water for $20 a bottle is fraud; I think he was trying to lament the fact that even in times of disaster, people can't find it in themselves to actually help other people, rather than profit for themselves.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1, Troll)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305369)

Now, 150,000 dead, and we still have assholes trying to make a buck off it. What does it take for these people to learn morals?

Most people don't have any morals. That's why they are forced to obey laws, which are just society-imposed rules of behaviour for people who otherwise would stop at nothing to get what they want.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305371)

The thing that irritates me the most is that almost every company I see has some kind of donations tin (real or virtual). We know you are a faceless corporation and you're only doing it for the PR, so please just give it a rest for once.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305390)

Jumping Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. What a dumb fuck you are.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305406)

Maybe you are being too cynical but at least people are getting even more money with their aid. At least they WILL be passing this money, its a better world with their help anyway, thats how I see it.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305471)

My school took great joy in handing out envelopes to encourage people to donate. Damn PR...

We also had a couple of asshats go out in their school uniform and go round houses collecting "on behalf of the school" then keeping the cash. Bastards (the police got them though!).

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305427)

We also have Al-Quida in Indonesia warning the aid workers, and
anti-government rebels infiltrating the aid effort. There will
always be people using whatever happens for their own gain.

How many Scientologists do you think will be promoting their
"purification rundown" in case of a nuclear holocost?

won't help (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305557)

It's pretty naive and foolish to think that people are going to somehow instantly get morals when a bigger disaster strikes. The kind of people that abuse a small disaster will just abuse a bigger one even more so. Post-holocaust those same people that rob and fraud survivors of "minor" disasters will be the ones taking and stealing everything they can for their own survival, uncaring of whether that theft and brutality affects anyone other than themselves.

Re:What does it take to not be an asshole? (1)

Warskull (846730) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305567)

To be blunt, short of a disaster killing all human beings you will always have people trying to profit from situations like this. People tend to not care about charity until something big like this happens. Then everyone is tripping over themselves to help creating a situation that is very easy to exploit.

Selling Bottles of Water for $20 is a Great Thing (0)

BrianMarshall (704425) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305589)

Consider - if 911 had stranded people for a longer period and lots of people want trustworthy water. People that have some on hand start selling it, but realize that they are soon going to be out. The price goes up and you have people selling water for 20 bucks.

With cell phones, word gets out fast - if you can get water into that end of The City, you can make big bucks. Many people start working hard at getting water to the folks who need it.

Anyone can sell water for $15 bucks and have a huge market... no wait, the guy across the street is selling for $10, so $7... but now there are people wandering through the crowd selling for $5.

Pretty soon the price is not much higher and maybe even lower than it was before the disaster.

If there is a way of making a buck selling something, it always attracts others trying to cut in on the action with a lower price.

It is like sweatshops. As more people try to make a buck at it, wage rates are forced up.

Leviathan Blood Money Surfaces (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305319)

According [sevenoaksmag.com] to Allan Nairn [google.com] , a journalist who's been an Indonesia eyewitness for decades, most of even the legitimate aid money is funneled through governments like the Indonesian, which then funds further attacks on any surviving, devastated populations of these resource-rich "rebellious" regions. Nairn does recommend ETAN [etan.org] , which funnels aid to the indigenous "PCC" relief org - which seems the most conscionable course, at least until someone blows the whistle on them.

Fraudulent claims (4, Interesting)

Gary Destruction (683101) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305325)

It seems that fraudulent claims in the wake of disaster are becoming commonplace. During 9/11 there were many scams and fake pleas for disaster relief. Such claims are no different than denying people the help that they need. In a way, it's almost like a DOS attack against victims.

Re:Fraudulent claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305580)

In a way, it's almost like a DOS attack against victims.

A "Disk Operating System" attack? Oh, wait, you mean "Denial of Service", or "DoS".

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305328)

Anyone got url's of some of these sites? I reckon we target the ones with there names and address's in there dns record and send letters around there general area warning people of there sick presence.

Re:Well (3, Funny)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305429)

Well, either that or slashdot 'em.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305498)

God I love your sig.

Tsunamis and Nigeria (4, Funny)

jwdb (526327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305333)

The nigerian scam artists have have updated their mailings - I just received one from a person claiming to need help distributing $32m to relief organizations in return for a 10% cut.

Are they ever gonna give up?

Jw

Re:Tsunamis and Nigeria (2, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305473)

Where can we donate to a fund to hire some goons to break their kneecaps?

-jcr

More bogus than help (1)

tmk (712144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305336)

When you look at an online forum [203.150.224.71] of an hospital in Thailand, you see more adverts for other sites and forums than real help. There are some sick people who want to get as many victims as possible on their sites and pretend that they want to help. Actually they are not ashamed to flame [203.150.224.71] each other.

Problem with Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305341)

The front page isn't being updated if you aren't logged-in.

Education (2, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305350)

This sort of nastiness is really part of the whole spam/phishing/credit card fraud continuum. Because the Internet is such an important part of all our lives now, it seems to me that governments need to start putting out some education about this sort of crap. I don't know if it's already being done in other countries, but in the United States the federal government doesn't seem to be lifting a finger to educate people about how to effectively use the Internet.

This is one of those "ounce of prevention vs. pound of cure" things. If we spend a little bit of money up front to put out TV and radio advertisements, it seems that the government would have to spend far less money investigating these assholes and helping victims of this sort of fraud. If K-12 schools taught kids how to detect online b.s. and community colleges featured this sort of instruction as part of entry-level computer classes, it could go a long way toward minimizing the negative economic impact of the broad range of Internet fraud.

But of course current thinking in the United States is an extreme form of caveat emptor, so I'm just engaging in wishful thinking.

Re:Education (5, Funny)

Drooling Iguana (61479) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305494)

But if the American people learned how to effectively detect bullshit, everyone currently holding an elected office in the country would be out of a job.

Please Help (2, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305357)

You may not know, but Brazil got affected by the Tsunami big time.

After all, it's near Jacarta, India and other countries. Several people died in Brazil

Please help

Re:Please Help (1)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305492)

This looks like a troll, but just in case you're serious, allow me to correct your geography a little.

Brazil is nowhere near India - India is in Asia, whilst Brazil (last time I looked) happened to be a large country sitting in South America. Not too difficult to spot. Also, Jakarta isn't a country - it's the capital of Indonesia.

Re:Please Help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305547)

He probably confused Brasil with Indonesia as they are both full of ladieboy's.

Re:Please Help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305594)

Yeah but the Brazilians ones are way hotter. I think it's because of the German immigration there, you get a nice mix of blue-eyed blondes with tanned skin.

I don't donate to charities... (0, Offtopic)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305364)

... I don't always have a clear idea where the money will end up. However I'm not one to ignore a homeless bum and buy him a meal when I can. Giving them money does them no favours either.

You're an ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305440)

I don't donate to charities...I don't always have a clear idea where the money will end up.

Someone above already posted [slashdot.org] a way for you to know which charities are careful with your money. You are just trying to justify hoarding your money.

Re:You're an ass (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305503)

I didn't see that post and second. I'M a STUDENT, what fucking money are you talking about! Besides its better to buy a homeless person a meal rather tham give them money, they might spend it on drugs, this is common knowledge I thought?

I got one (4, Informative)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305374)

I got this via email the other day, and decided to post it for others to see:

Tsunami Scam [accettura.com]

Sounds like a nigerian letter, but with Tsunami mixed in there.

new tld needed (0, Redundant)

jsk2001 (746830) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305375)

.ORG domains are too easy to get. Organizations need to have a domain that are for well known and trusted sites only.

www.red-cross.help
www.red-cross.give
www.red- cross.relief

One more reason (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305383)

why we should just stay the fsck out of SE Asia and just let natural selection take over.

It's inevitable (1)

Hamster Of Death (413544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305392)

Lack of morals and greed, plain and simple.
Hell there's even a car dealership down the road offering to 'donate $100 to the tsunami relief for every car sold' once the shock wears off, people try and cash in. It will always happen. Just be on the lookout for the emails from Nigeria wanting to get 'tsunami relief money out of the country' now. =)

I blame Bush =P

Re:It's inevitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305474)

Just to clarify - greed requires a lack of morals.

Salvation Army (4, Informative)

stankulp (69949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305408)

The only charitable organization I contribute to is the Salvation Army.

They have feet on the ground everywhere in the world, and they don't squander your money. It actually makes it to victims of disaster and poverty.

Re:Salvation Army (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305437)


The "Sally Ann", as it's called here, is just a big cult. They have their own churches ("Citadels" they call them) and enforce religion on their workers.

Re:Salvation Army (1)

Neph (5010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305541)

I agree that the Salvation Army is a very efficient and honest organization in general, but they need to be more careful about certain things, in particular what they do with donated second-hand clothes:

This may be of interest to you. [pbs.org]

Re:Salvation Army (0, Flamebait)

Magnus Pym (237274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305556)

Yup. Lost your house and all your worldly possessions? Don't worry, just convert to christianity and the Salvation Army will help you.

Magnus.

UH DUH! (4, Informative)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305418)

This is the danger of everyone and there brother adding links to say help the tsunami survivors to their web pages. Everyone should have just link directly to the Red Cross web site or similar organization. This is why I have not donated anything yet because I want to be absolutely certain that when I donate the money, it goes to the right place. I will probably wait until the real money is needed. There's going to be alot of waste now and when everyone forgets about it is when the problem will really start. It will take YEARS to recover the area affected. It's not something that will even be over on December 26th of 2005. This is a once in a lifetime disaster for much of the world. The loss is tremendous. Unfortunately during times such as this, there's always some incredible assholes who think hey I will scam some people. As always, I give IN PERSON. Walk in to the Red Cross in your town and just give them a check or cash. Only then will you know that a good percentage of your money will go where it's needed. Also, don't just give to the Red Cross now. They always need your money. Make it a yearly donation and increase it a bit when the Red Cross is in need of extra help for hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes and terrorist attacks.

Better yet, if your technically inclined, get your ham license and donate sometime to ARES by training in events and field day. Then when disaster strikes in your area, you'll be ready. I used to think it was ridiculous, but after a bad ice/snowstorm took out people's electric and 2-3 inches of rain falling right after that cause flooding in and around Columubus we'd never be needed but in just 14 days we had 2 activations of ARES to staff the red cross shelters with communciators. I know it won't help the Tsunami victims, but then when something like this hits your town, you can not only donate your money but also your time.

Big nonprofits have big "administrative costs" (2, Insightful)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305419)

I have seen reports that many of the well known charites and nonprofits spend a egregious amount of money on so-called administrative costs, with only a small percent eventually going to those in need.

Apparently these "administrative costs" are often things like new cars and fat bonuses for the nonprofits' management...

Re:Big nonprofits have big "administrative costs" (2, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305525)

Legitimate charities disclose the percentage of donations goes to overhead vs. to help victims. The IRS requires this, btw.

For organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, the amount going to overhead is very small.

Re:Big nonprofits have big "administrative costs" (0, Troll)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305579)

stop with your junior high-school grade bullshit analysis already.

sure, /some/ charities are needlessly wasteful, but the fact of the matter is that to provide the maximum help to the maximum people in the shortest amount of time, you need good people who demand at least close to a market salary. you want logistics experts doing logistics, not well meaning but inexperienced volunteers. running an effective relif agency is at least as hard as running a corporation.

let me clue you in: the majority of people who give to charities are well meaning but clueless. the classic (real life) example that i like to use is a group of english business owners decided to help estonia in the days after their independence by building them a school. now, what do a bunch of english business owners do? they spent their money on cement and other building materials and a fleet of lorries (trucks) to carry then from from the UK to estonia. Look! how photogenic! building materials for building societies! Bullshite. as if estonia needs cement bought at english prices to be shipped over or even unskilled builders in the form of english volunteers to build the thing. fuck no. for the money spent on all that photogenic bullshit and feel-good volunteerism (plane tickets to get the volunteers there, etc), an expert could have been hired at a competitive salary that would have hired local building crews and arranged the necessary logistics. but, morons like you would just scream and yell "fat consultants getting paid!"

the truth is that the relief and development world IS filled with a large number of people who do get paid good salaries... usually a bit below a business salary, but quite good nonetheless. buy, by in large, they damn well earn their money despite know nothing reporters writing exposes about how the money is going to "consultants."

here's another clue folks: by in large, sending canned food to africa is a waste of time and money compared to sending skilled consultants who can teach africa to feed itself. if there is a warzone where a consultant could not go, don't worry, your can won't make it there either.

I don't know about you guys.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305434)

but I donated my money to a nice fellow from Nigeria, he seemed very kind and trustworthy. Funny thing is, he contacted me (through e-mail) before I was able to even look at the possible organizations I might donate to. Maybe he's psychic?

And the worst offender is... (1, Troll)

pi_rules (123171) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305445)

UNICEF. Check this guy who's on the ground and watching the UN's presense first hand: http://diplomadic.blogspot.com/

Hint: The only way to get away from the UN there is to go where there's actually people in need. Hang out in 5 star hotels and you'll be swamped by 'em.

I'm ashasmed to know that my country is where their head quarters sit.

Re:And the worst offender is... (3, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305511)

I'm ashasmed to know that my country is where their head quarters sit.

Only because we can't find another host country stupid enough to take them in.

Re:And the worst offender is... (1)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305530)

How are we supposed to believe the postings ON A BLOG??? Although, I did find one statement particularly true.....the countries affected know us American's will do it all. Pretty sad really.

Are you really surprised? (1, Insightful)

andalay (710978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305446)

I'd be surprised if there were NO such cases. Cmon, we're just selfish, greedy bastards.

I bet there were no Linux users involved!

Haha.

And you are surprised ? (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305453)

It was expected and is bound to happen. Even the money from the so called non-profilt organizations will be lot less when it trickles down to the real people. Lot of food and clothes will never reach the peoeple who need it. Don't be surprised if you hear that food was rotting in some stores because it didn't pass through the require paper work.

Welcome to the real world Neo.

Acts of God (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305466)

It will be interesting to see how the FBI deals with "muslim" charities it has identified as terror funding conduits, as their pipes are filled with donations from Muslims (and others) targeting the huge Muslim communities devastated by the quake and tsunami. Will the FBI reveal that some Muslim posers are ripping off virtuous donating Muslims, stealing lifesaving aid to instead fund suicide bombers in their jihad? When some are revealed, how will Muslim leaders around the world react? Will some of the leaders who are complicit with the funders find a way to blame the FBI, and America, for their own sins? And will the US government find a way to frame legitimate Muslim charities with fake charges of this kind of fraud, fueling the counter-jihad crusade? God only knows - god certainly isn't doing anything to stop it.

Red Cross / Red Crescent (1)

bigberk (547360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305475)

I normally don't email around appeals to people, but the magnitude of this disaster is so large that I have emailed my friends informing them how to donate online.

I pointed people towards the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies [ifrc.org] , which as well as accepting donations online, also provides a convenient listing of Local Red Cross / Red Crescent [ifrc.org] which are probably better for donating through. For instance, I gave through the Canadian Red Cross since the Government of Canada is going to be matching private donations through them.

Re:Red Cross / Red Crescent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305531)

Also, in case there's any dispute about legitimacy, IFRC is listed under Google's relief page [google.com] . I prefer the red cross societies over organizations with religious agendas.

MEMO TO CAPTAIN OBVIOUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305486)

People suck.

Crime and Punishment (1)

atriusofbricia (686672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305500)

There are times like these when I wish public horse whippings were legal.

not just webscams (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305523)

And you can't always tell. An asshat in Norway had managed to steal a Red Cross collection tincan (or whatever you call it in English, bøsse in Norwegian). Fortunately he got caught, but there have been a couple of instances of people either stealing directly from the collection plates or just going around telling people they are collecting money for the tsunami victims.

Le Sigh (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305540)

So, should I donate to the Red Cross, or the guy in the mall with the mayo jar and a hand written sign that says "Sunami Relief"?

Oh, how I wish I was joking...

No offense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305561)

...but this is a perfect example of why I only donate my hard-earned (US) money to US-based disaster charities/etc. for crises that are US-affected. I like to keep my US money in the US, and I do my homework before being oh-so-generous.

Paramount (2, Informative)

pronobozo (794672) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305584)

Paramount Theatres has had spiderman and ET heart pins that are used for rasing money for charities. They are $3 each but they keep 2/3 of the money. In one ad they mentioned they raised 50 million meaning they made 100 million. It'd be nice if they gave their part aswell.

Moral Dilemma (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11305585)

I can donate 1 euro through sms, but I ask myself, why would I do this? Anyone has a valid, good reason for me to donate money?

I wouldn't donate because:

  • These people are meaningless, they will never accomplish anything, if I donate I will only extend the suffering of their meaningless lives...
  • When everybody is donating, something seems off. The general population is usually wrong.

Any valid reasons? I'm listening

beware spammers too (5, Informative)

AmericaHater (732718) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305586)

Someone is circulating an email appealing for help identifying a lost western child. it says this:

" The boy about 2 years, from Khoa Lak is missing his parents.
Nobody knows what country he comes from. If
anybody knows him please contact
us by phone 076-249400-4 ext. 1336, 1339 or e- mail :

info@phuket-inter-hospital.co.th
image001.jpg"

Trouble is, it contained a spammers zombie (I didn't realise when I got it) and it depends on suckers trying to be helpful and recirculating it to people they know to infect them. That's how it got to me but 'cos I use Linux I was immune and I didnt circulate it anyway.
What I did do was waste the cops and the Norwegian embassy's time. I recognised the kid in the picture from a TV news report that named his parent nationality name and location. I spent an hour on the phone to the TV station the police and the Norwegian consulate telling them that I knew who the kid was and I could help.
Turns out they knew anyway so did I do right or wrong? did the spammer do wrong? suppose I had been the only one to indentify this lost 2 years to the parent but I had infected loads of people in the process?

Spammers - what slime-bags.

Be careful who you donate to (3, Informative)

thesatch (844290) | more than 9 years ago | (#11305642)

Check out this story:
T.O. police arrest man posing as Red Cross worker [www.ctv.ca]

There's no reason you should to give your money to strangers. If you can't/don't want to donate money over the internet, go to your local Redcross office. Every major city has one.
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