Boston Marathon donation scams: A guide to what's real

Over 20 websites registered after the bombings

Almost immediately after the bombings at the Boston Marathon, scams hoping to take advantage of those offering aid to victims started popping up around the Internet.

According to the New York Daily News, more than 20 websites were registered Monday, with domain names like,, and

The website "The Domains" reported the odds of these sites not being legitimate is very high.

"While we don't know every registrants' intention, we do know historically that many of the domain names registered immediately after were done to get traffic and make money parking domains or worse," The Domains writes.

On April 25, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center acknowledged the fraudulent websites.

"Spam e-mails and Web sites to which they are linked use a wide variety of deceptions to trick a user into taking actions that put the user’s computer at risk for infection," the division wrote in a public warning.

The FBI warned people not to agree to download software to view content, not follow a link inside a stranger's email, not allow others to make donations on your behalf, independently verify the legitimacy of organizations, and use secure means like a check or credit card to make donations.

Fake websites aren't the only issue. The FBI also acknowledged fraud attempts through social media.

According to, a fake Twitter account appeared called @_BostonMarathon asking users to retweet for donations.

"For every retweet we will donate $1.00 for the #BostonMarathon victims #PrayforBoston," the tweet read.

The Twitter account has since been suspended after users began warning those who were retweeting the message that the account was fake.

And if you get a phone call from an organization called "Donations for the Boston Explosion," that's a scam, according to Blue Alert, an organization dedicated to the arrest of criminals who injure police officers.

Here are some real organizations to contact if you want to help victims:

-- The Red Cross disaster fund. Click here for more information:

-- The Salvation Army is providing support to survivors and first responders. Click here for more information:

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