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Charity Scam Update: Boston Marathon Attack

Garth Bruen, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It was only a few weeks ago I wrote in detail about scammers taking advantage of grief over the Newtown shootings. Fake charities appear online immediately after tragedies so I cautioned readers to be aware that the next tragic event, whatever it is, would be no different. Little did I know the next horrible incident would occur in my own hometown at an event I had been attending since I was a kid.
Thankfully, the spot I had picked to watch the Boston Marathon with my family was far enough away from the destruction. Not so lucky for many others who now will have to endure the additional pain and humiliation of having their names used to defraud charitable Internet users who are only trying to help.

While investigators are scrambling to find suspects, con artists are scrambling to take advantage of the situation. Reports that “within minutes” of the bombings new websites were being created to accept “donations” unfortunately do not surprise. Think before you give and put the timing of any fundraising in perspective. The fatalities have barely been identified and the survivors are still in the hospital. People touched by the attack have not even had time to grieve or heal. Most likely, any email claiming to be from the family of a victim would be a fake. Surely, there will be fundraisers for victims in the future, but certainly not before the dust has even settled on Boylston street.

Anyone who wants to support the victims at this time may want to contact the area hospitals treating blast patients: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Tufts Medical Center are all affiliated with charities. Survivors will have medical bills often covered by hospital charities when insurance does not.

The Boston Marathon is a special event that draws people from all over the world, which is in many ways a reflection of Boston itself. An attack on this event and on this city is like an attack on the world. An attempt to solicit funds for fake charities is an attack on humanity.

Helpful sites worth reviewing before donating:

Reference: Newtown Scam Report; Huffington Post- Boston Marathon Charity Scams for more information.

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