boston marathon scamsBoston Marathon Scams originated quickly following the bombing. Tragedy brings out the best and worst in people. As many people are struggling with the emotions they are feeling after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, others are looking to cash in.

Social Media has become the go to for anyone looking for information and wanting to help. Almost immediately after this tragic incident at the Boston Marathon, Boston area residents flocked to Google Drive which is a cloud based file storage. There, a list was created offering rides, places to stay, food and help for those who needed it.

Immediately after the bombing cell phone availability was overloaded. Family and friends of those at the event turned to Google Person Finder. Google Person Finder is a web based app that allows users to search for someone or post information on someone.

Social Media also allowed the Boston Police Department to quickly send out information on restrictions in the area through Twitter and Facebook. The Boston Police have also turned to social media to request footage, photos and tips to aid in their investigation.

Below are actual resources you can access for more information.

Social Media allowed race participants and spectators to post their own status to let loved ones know their condition.

Boston Marathon Scams to be Aware of

Being sadden by the bombings can move you to want to help and give to the cause, but you must watch out for Boston Marathon scams. To help you be better prepared to give to a charity during a crisis like this, I have shared information with you that should provide you with assistance in making a decision of who to donate to.

Fake Information

When searching for information it is recommended to go to a reliable news source. Do not trust everything you read and make sure the source is trusted.

A twitter account (@_BostonMarathon) has already been suspended. They claimed that they will donate one dollar for every retweet to the Boston Marathon Victims. It is suspected that the account was set up to gain followers and later be sold.
Another twitter account (@HopeForBoston) posted pictures of child runners and claimed they were killed in the blast. Users were asked to retweet the image out of respect. The Boston Marathon was not open to children.

You must be aware of what you click on. Beware of invites that offer special or exclusive information. These links may contain malware or viruses. Links in emails can also contain these problems.

Clicking on links can also take you to fake pages for trusted charities or look alike pages. Only donate by going directly to the charities official site.

False Charities

Sadly, there are people looking to make a profit following a tragedy. Some are soliciting money through social media and email. Never give your credit card information to a charity that solicits you through social media. When donating money there are steps you can take to ensure your donation reaches the intended purpose.

  • Take time to check if the charity is legitimate. This can be done through the Better Business Bureau.You can also report any scams you come across.
  • Some states require charities to register. You can find this information through your States Attorney Generals Office.
  • Help spread the word by sharing charities you have researched with friends and family and reminding them to be careful of who they donate to.
  • Beware of charities using victims names. Charities must have permission to use names and pictures of victims.
  • Find out where your check is going. Some families will set up an account at a bank to collect the funds. These are likely to be legitimate.
  • Donate to well known and trusted charities.

There are many organizations that are already in place like the American Red Cross that were mobile on the ground immediately who could definitely use your support. Before you give, please make sure you check out the cause to make sure it’s not a Boston Marathon scams.