Scams Related to the Japan Earthquake Emerge

 Analysis by: Dhan Praga

Last March 11, 2011, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Sendai. Then came a devastating tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan, leaving massive destruction in its wake. As expected, scammers leveraged this tragic event to trick recipients into giving out donations to the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan.

The scam email purports to have originated from the international humanitarian organization Unicef. It bears the subject 'HOPE FOR JAPAN NOW, DONATE TO THE EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI VICTIMS' and is written in plain-text format. The text in the message body urges recipients to donate an amount of either 1 cent or $1, then asks for sensitive information, such as the users' names and email and home addresses.

Trend Micro urges users to simply ignore the scam mail. Also, users are advised to be wary of other forms of email scams on the Web.

Users may send donations to currently established channels, such as that of the Red Cross.
 SPAM BLOCKING DATE / TIME: March 14, 2011 GMT-8
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  • PATTERN:8012