Hoaxes, scams abound after disasters like Boston

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2013 5:49 am | Updated: 10:45 pm, Fri Apr 19, 2013.

NEW YORK (AP) — The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings has many people eager to help the tragedy's victims. A group that monitors scams after disasters says thieves are also quick to get to work, setting up pleas for money -- using social media, phone calls and texts.

Like numerous disasters before, hoaxes and conspiracies have popped up in the chaotic first days after the tragedy.

In one case, a bogus photo circulated on social media showing a young girl running, with some versions saying she had died while running the marathon for Sandy Hook shooting victims. A Virginia charity linked to the picture says it's not clear whether donations were solicited using the photo but even so, the charity's website quickly crashed under the weight of more than 1 million views.

For those looking to help, Ken Berger with the group CharityNavigator.org suggests giving to an established charity and avoiding telemarketers. He also suggests thinking before you text, saying it can be a good way to give so long as you thoroughly vet the request for money.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.


Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.