How low can you get?

A colleague forwarded me the following scam today, spammers taking advantage of the recent earthquake in Haiti.  It sure didn’t take them long to prey on people’s emotions.  Here’s an excerpt:

Human Relief Foundation
755 Romford Road
Manor Park
E12 5AW

By now I'm sure you have seen pictures of the absolute devastation in Haiti. As many as 100,000 people could be dead. Survivors are sleeping in the streets among the dead, too afraid to go back into buildings. The people of Haiti need us now to survive, and they will need our help for a long time to rebuild

Human Relief Foundation (HRF) has launched an emergency appeal seeking a total of #120,000,000.00 to deliver assistance to families affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti.  Thousands are feared dead, with more than two million people affected and, widespread damage. Critical services such as electricity, water and telephones have been affected.

HRF appeals to the local, national and international community to come forward and donate generously whatever they can to the Haiti earthquake appeal - just as they did with the Tsunami disaster of 2004 and the Kashmir earthquake of 2005. Donations can be accepted in various ways to make a donation contact Email: relief-care@…<>

Thank you for everything you are doing to help the people of Haiti

Rebecca Young,

Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

There's something particularly unethical about preying on the misery of the less fortunate and taking advantage of those who are genuinely concerned for the well-being of others.  The Human Relief Fund is an actual organization (or it appears to be, after 5 seconds of research) but the drop box points to a spam site.  This particular example of social engineering really is par for the course for spammers.

Comments (1)
  1. MG says:

    This is more than just unethical. This is pure evil, taking money from the poorest and most in need.

    Since the primary point of contact for this spam is an email address instead of a website, one possible solution to this issue would be to spam the spammer and overflow his mailbox. Spam this address with fake contact information, forcing them to spend a significant amount of time fishing out the real leads from the fake ones. It won’t completely stop this sort of spam since he can just change addresses and send out a few million more emails, but it could make it less profitable.

    Terry, how effective do you think actions like this are? I hate to think that we are sinking to spammy techniques ourselves, but sometimes a controlled burn is the only way to slow a forest fire.

Comments are closed.

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