Recently a new version of malware called Citadel has been discovered on people’s Facebook pages. The scam appears as a request for donations to a children’s charity. Presently versions of the malware have been found on Facebook pages in England, Italy, Spain, Germany and Holland along with the United States. In each case, the language used is the language of the country, but the grammar is not good, a common thread for many scams, particularly those originating overseas. The American request is to help children in Haiti and it asks for a donation of just a dollar and then provides a form for you to enter your name, credit card number, expiration date, CVV code from the card and security password, if one is used. Unfortunately, the scammers are not after a dollar and they aren’t helping any charity. They steal the entire credit limit of the credit card.
Before you give to a charity, first make sure it is a legitimate charity. Go to www.charitynavigator.org where you can find out whether indeed the particular charity is legitimate as well as, even if it is a legitimate charity, it pays as administrative and fund raising fees. But even then never give through an online solicitation because you have no way of knowing whether it is the real charity or not that contacted you. If you want to make a charitable contribution, go to the real charity’s website to make your donation.