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CNET News Video: After tragedies, scammers thrive

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: After tragedies, scammers thrive

1:30 /

In the week since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, Americans have already donated more than $87 million to the ravaged country. But if you're looking to open your wallet, beware--not all solicitors are legitimate or safe. Kara Tsuboi has the story.

-If you've spent any time online since Japan suffered their natural disasters last week, it's hard to ignore the calls to help or take your eyes away from the horrifying scenes of destruction. -People are hungry for images and videos especially. The ones from Japan have been particularly dramatic and we can't stop watching them. So, we're gonna be more likely to clip before we really think about whether we should. -But that's where you can get into trouble, videos, photos, links, and phony donation request can all lead to harmful websites that can take your money or infect your computer with a virus. -No one likes to be taken advantage of and, you- Yeah, you feel like your privacy has been violated. -Could be sort of drive-by download when you're visiting the site, but all of a sudden you're infected. -Elinor Mills is a senior writer at CNET. She reports on internet security and offers these safety tips for spending time online. First, keep your antivirus software up-to-date. Next, don't open questionable links or attachments from sources you don't know. And finally, notice red flags like spelling and grammar mistakes or copycat organizations like redcross.com instead of redcross.org. -People wanna help so desperately, they're gonna fall for these scams more easily out of their sense of generosity in wanting to help. -For CBS News, Kara Tsuboi, cnet.com in San Francisco.

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