JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As thousands work desperately to recover from the storm, the FBI has a warning about scam charities popping up, trying to steer relief efforts away from legitimate charities meant to help victims of Superstorm Sandy.
These pop-up charities are designed to prey on a donor's desire to help.
The scams start, according to cyber security expert Johannes Ullrich, even before the storms form. As soon the National Weather Service announces names to be used for upcoming hurricanes, the Internet is a buzz registering those very names for their domains.
Ullrich has tracked more than 1,000 Internet domains with the words Sandy or relief from his Jacksonville-based SANS Institute. Some registered early but most after sandy was forecasted to be a killer storm.
"We have a network in place to look for new domains that spring up,” said Ullrich. “We have a very large group of people that sort of assist us in going through different domains and figuring out which one are legitimate and which ones are not."
Ullrich says when it comes to giving, do your homework. “Certainly research the charity first, but most importantly donate to one that you know and trust before the disaster hits.”
According to the Better Business Bureau, 70 percent of American’s who give money, do it without checking to see if the charity is legitimate.