DENVER (CBS4)- The first known scam related to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami relief effort is in an e-mail. The sender pretends to be from the British Red Cross and appears to be legitimate.

The phony e-mail asks the receiver to send money, via Money Bookers, to a personal Yahoo e-mail address.

“Anytime something that’s so catastrophic that affects the world, something is going to come up,” said Better Business Bureau President & CEO Dale Mingilton.

The Better Business Bureau recommends always going directly to an organization’s website, versus using a link in an e-mail. They also recommend taking a good look at the site before donating.

Visit for the latest on the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“Why would the British Red Cross be raising money in America for a Japanese incident? So, there’s usually something that triggers a red flag and we want people to pay attention to that,” said American Red Cross Chief Communications Officer Jim Rettew.

The BBB warns the Red Cross scam is just beginning. In the days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina, the FBI reported more than 4,000 new websites for organizations. Some were legitimate, some were not.

“Our message is this. If you are unsure of a source of a solicitation e-mail, just call us,” said Rettew.

Link: Ways To Help


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