Vircom Warns About Tsunami Aid Scams

Paris, France 17 January 2005 – Vircom Inc., developer of Modus secure email management solutions, warns email users about fraudulent donation requests for victims of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis of December 26, 2004.

“We have seen an alarming number of fraudulent emails requesting money for survivors,” said Marc Chouinard, head of Vircom’s SpamBuster team. “The best way to avoid a scam is to donate directly through a well-known organization rather than forwarding money to an address or bank account provided in an unsolicited email.”

To help people avoid being defrauded, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), established jointly by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), offers this advice on avoiding relief-effort email scams:

· Do not respond to any unsolicited (SPAM) incoming emails;
· Be skeptical of individuals claiming to be surviving victims or foreign government officials asking for help in placing large sums of money in overseas bank accounts;
· To ensure that contributions to U.S.-based non-profit organizations are used for intended purposes, go directly to recognized charities and aid organizations websites, as opposed to following a link to another site;
· Try to verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations (e.g., use Internet-based resources to help confirm the existence of the organization and its non-profit status);
· Be leery of emails that claim to show pictures of the disaster areas in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.

Anyone interested in sending a financial contribution to help tsunami victims should donate directly through a reputable international aid organization, such as those listed below:
· Red Cross –
· Amnesty International –
· Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres –
· Oxfam –

About Vircom:
Montreal-based Vircom is a leading developer of cutting-edge Internet infrastructure and secure messaging solutions for the demanding needs of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporate clients. Vircom’s mature ModusTM secure email management technology incorporates over 10 years of industry expertise, making it a powerful driving force in the defense against spam and email-borne fraud.

Present in Europe since 2003, Vircom Europe has distribution agreements for its Modus anti-spam products with a network of managed security service providers, value-added distributors and resellers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

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