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Alert on charity scam while lending a hand
(Shenzhen Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-06 09:10

The China Charity Federation (CCF) has warned tsunami donors to be on guard against fraudulent Web sites after it found a Web site bearing its name.

The Web site, www. chinacharity.cn.net, is similar to the official Web site of the CCF, www.chinacharity.cn, but the bank account number for donations is different from the CCF account number.

The CCF started investigating the Web site after a potential donor came across more than 70 pages on the imposter Web site. Wu Guang became suspicious after seeing the Web site was calling for donations for the 1998 floods. He then reported the Web site to the CCF.

Shao Jiayan, director of the publicity for the CCF, told the China Youth Daily that the Web site had nothing to do with the CCF.

"The Web site published the correct address of the CCF, but the hotline, bank account number and email address are all wrong," said Shao.

The Web site was established by the CCF and a Beijing IT company in 1998 to raise money for the 1998 floods. The company owned the domain name.

The company should have closed the Web site after the 1998 campaign had finished, said Shao, but the company refused to close it down.

Shao said the CCF had urged major portals to stop the false site's link to the CCF's name. However, the search engines of Baidu and Google were still leading to the false Web site Wednesday.

"If the company still refuses to close the Web site, we will report it to the police," said Shao, who also reminded Chinese people to be wary of other possible fraudulent Web sites.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross also warned people against putting donations into personal accounts, after some people received mobile phone short messages asking for donations in the name of the Red Cross.

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