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Japan Spam News

Prepare For Massive Wave of Earthquake Scams 158

wiredmikey sends this quote from Security Week: "Today's tragic events of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami, as sad as it is, is a dream for scammers and fraudsters around the world. Tragic events are always something scammers use to their advantage, helping them prey on and exploit innocent victims. Scams are already spreading across Facebook, which started in a matter of minutes after the news broke of the earthquake in Japan. As I write this, scammers are hard at work, registering new domains and cranking out templates for their fake donation sites. This will be followed with massive volumes of email spam, Tweets through Twitter, and Facebook posts, as scammers gear up to solicit donations from around the world." As coverage of the earthquake and resulting tsunami has proceeded, collections of videos and pictures are showing the extent of the devastation. The NY Times makes the excellent point that things could have been much worse if not for building codes and quake-resistant engineering. A state of emergency was declared at one of Japan's nuclear plants, after the earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the reactors. No radiation leakage has been reported, and the US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air.
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Prepare For Massive Wave of Earthquake Scams

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  • Disgusting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2011 @12:46PM (#35453832)

    The fact that people would take advantage of the disaster and misery at the cost of thousands of people just disgusts me. It happened with Katrina, it happened with Haiti, and I guess they're gearing up for this disaster. You fuckers, I hope you rot in hell.

    • Re:Disgusting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:01PM (#35453942)


      Scamming is nasty business at the best of times, but (imagining I were a scammer) I could see people in places like Nigeria justifying it to themselves as getting their share from the rich west.

      But this is just out and out profiting from human misery and death.

      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

        I have seen scammers in my own city selling fake cancer cures. The victim turning down real treatments in exchange for magic often loses their life as well as their money and the authorities are powerless to do anything about it. Use the word "Faith" and you have 100% legal immunity, doesn't matter how many victims you kill.

        People are killed by frauds all the time.
        Far more often than people like to believe, and it's happening in western countries.

    • as these people are considered the below the lowest forms of scum on the earth, you can realistically color me not suprised by this.

      These people have folks just waiting around for bad stuff to happen all armed with their templates for and within momemnts of word of the events breaking out they have their domains registered and sites up ready to part you with your cash and leave you a nice thank you note in the form of malware and other viruses on your systems.

      They rely on the fact that in a time of distres

      • You know...I'm not the type to cheat people...never have.

        But even I have to admit, when up early watching this this morning...one of the first thoughts to hit my head was what domains would you register to take advantage of this situations.

        I don't know why that crossed my brain..I mean, don't get me wrong I'm good for just about any legal activity that will make me a dollar, but not sure why this one hit me.

        I mean...what if you did put up a site to collect for those hit hard in Japan, collected in good f

    • Re:Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:07PM (#35454010)
      I don't know what I find more disgusting, that these inevitable scams pop up or that I felt the need to send out a company wide email to remind people that the Red Cross and such doesn't send out grammatically incorrect bulk email requesting donations at donations@reddcroos.ru
      • just as a note
        http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000&s_subsrc=RCO_BigRedButton [redcross.org]

        should be close enough of a link to be useable (this is the ARC site for those not in the US)

    • I think the tsunami in Indonesia was the cash cow that really showed how much money could be made. And its not through "illegal" means but rather by guys with lots of money who gave largish loans to local authorities in the disaster zones. Essentially they float short term million dollarish loans to local agencies (who are corrupt) within a week or so of the disaster and issue repayment contracts that use the donations (which finally start pouring in a month later), to pay back the loans. They normally get
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Don't worry there is a special place in hell for people do that. It is the place reserved for child molesters and people that talk in theater.
      All kidding aside those people are extreme low life scum.
      BTW I know it is not been in the news a lot but Haiti is still in a world of hurt folks. Japan is a rich country and the things they need the most right now are not things you can really buy with money. They need SAR teams, heavy lift choppers, and heavy equipment. A lot of that is on the way. Japan doesn't need

      • Agreed. If there's one country that can rebuild, it's Japan, They've climbed to the top once, been nuked back down, and climbed back to the top after that in record time, they can do it again.
  • No lifes will do anything for a buck >:(

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A state of emergency was declared at one of Japan's nuclear plants, after the earthquake caused cooling problems at one of the reactors. No radiation leakage has been reported, and the US Air Force has helped by delivering coolant by air.

    This, right here, is why a well funded military is so needed!

    Because it's cheaper than paying for the aftermath of a godzilla attack!

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      The US military isn't allowed to operate inside of US borders, IIRC. This is what the National Guard and state millitas are for, which are largely separate from the budgets and congregational wartime budget extensions (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc) are passed for. Local forces receive very little of this extended funding, from what I understand.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Guard_of_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        Isn't it about time you guys updated your constitution to reflect the fact that you are a modern democracy now with very little chance of a military coup if you allow the Army to undertake civil defense operations within your own borders.
    • You don't need a military to have massive waterlift capability. Well-funded fire fighters would to the job.

      Militaries are there to kill people and break things. If you're using them for something other than that, you're using them too much.

      • Yes, we should totally pay out the ass to unnecessarily create redundant massive and expensive logistical systems, and when there are life threatening disasters, some of those massive and expensive logistical systems should sit completely idle and not life a finger, because that's just not their role, fuck it if people die.

        Is that sarcastic enough, or should I try harder?
        • To say that you missed the point of my post would be like saying that the sun is just a little warm.

          How about we just not have those expensive logistical systems in the first place? Trim back the military spending and stop relying on them for every single problem that comes up. The military is not a hammer, and all of society's problems are not nails.

      • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:11PM (#35455640) Journal
        The military has always been used for things other than killing people and breaking things up. Who do you thing built the roads in the Roman Empire, or built the castles dotting Europe, or that wall thingy in China. Even in our times, the Army corps of Engineers is constantly being called upon to drain swamps, dredge canals, or put up bridges.
        • Who do you thing built the roads in the Roman Empire


          built the castles dotting Europe


          that wall thingy in China

          Slaves again.

          You really like having slaves around, don't you?

    • Heh, and I bet you won't hear one peep of appreciation from those in Japan who resent US military presence. Just another example of where after being maligned and diminished (especially by the DPJ), the US military still saves people's bacon, and in a matter of months some group in Japan will be back on the drum to get the US out. Ingrates.
      • You do realize we're there because we whipped em in war, nuked em twice, and then disallowed them from having a real standing army for years right? I'm not saying what we did was wrong, but calling them ingrates and expecting them to be all gushy in love with our presence might be a tad unreasonable too ;)
        • The US military presence is what allows Japan to maintain the illusion and appearance of pacifism, and relieves them of the need to develop nuclear weapons. A number of prominent Japanese politicians have said that if the US's capability or willingness to defend Japan was in doubt, that Japan would drop the "SDF" fiction and develop long-range offensive weapons, including nuclear arms.
          • I don't doubt that for a second. But I also don't think it's unreasonable that some members of their society might want that to happen so they can stand on their own without foreign military in their borders, and I wouldn't call them ingrates for feeling that way.
    • This, right here, is why a well funded military is so needed!!

      You don't need a well funded military to do disaster relief. Any well funded Disaster and Emergency Response team will do.

    • Yeah, because we couldn't deliver coolant by air if we didn't have a trillion dollar military.

  • White cars (Score:5, Funny)

    by Andy Smith ( 55346 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @12:55PM (#35453894)

    It appears that one way to improve your chance of survival in a tsunami is to not have a white car.
    http://i.imgur.com/ddHiq.jpg [imgur.com]

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @12:57PM (#35453918) Journal
    Not just to charities created because of tragedies, but to any charity at all. Websites such as Charity Watchdog (http://www.charitywatch.org/) exist to allow you to confirm how legit any given organization is. (When in doubt, just throw ten bucks at Red Cross International or Doctors Without Borders.)
  • isnt news for nerds, we have known for a while this happens.

    what i want to know as a nerd is completely off topic,
    but in the nation of japan how is it the death toll so far for this tsunami has only been reported as "hundreds" of people and not thousands dead?
    what technology has japan used or is japan using thats saved so many lives?
    Will they use rescue-robotics like robo-q or the quince prototype to locate and identify survivors?
    or something more powerful like the Tmsuk T53 to lift heavy concrete
    • Re:arguably (Score:5, Informative)

      by Leafheart ( 1120885 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:11PM (#35454050)

      what technology has japan used or is japan using thats saved so many lives?

      Japan has an impressive Earthquake alert system. They picked the shaking 1 minute before it main force hit. That gave time for most of the people to evacute the buildings as needed. Same goes for the Tsunami. Where they didn't have time to react though, like in Sendai, which was absurdly close to the epicenter, the death tool was worst.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        death tool

        I'm imagining some huge rotating steel tentacle with a claw on the end. Is that what you meant?

      • by EdIII ( 1114411 )

        Where they didn't have time to react though, like in Sendai, which was absurdly close to the epicenter, the death tool was worst.

        So how did this death tool work? Why would they use it when they did not have time to react?

    • There's a significant difference between "number dead" and "number confirmed dead". The actual number who have died is unknown, so most outlets report the numbers that are known to be dead.

      That means that the number will (sadly) climb much higher. With 1,300 miles of shoreline affected by the tsunami, I expect we won't be talking in the hundreds for very long, unfortunately.

    • Re:arguably (Score:4, Informative)

      by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:51PM (#35454548)
      It's not robotic rescue dogs, it's building codes that reduce the need for them in the first place.

      Compare to China recently where a less powerful [nytimes.com] quake sent brick buildings toppling onto and killing tens of thousands of people, including government buildings such as schoolhouses that collapsed and killed the children inside.

      Building codes are one of the areas where it's almost impossible to argue against the need for government regulation.

      • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:39PM (#35455200) Homepage Journal

        It's not robotic rescue dogs, it's building codes that reduce the need for them in the first place.

        I live in SoCal. I tell my friends from other places that the safest place to be when an earthquake hits is "somewhere else", but if you can't be there, then SoCal (and NorCal, too) is one of the best places to be.

        Why? Because we know that the Big One is coming... someday... Our building codes are designed so that while the building might not be safe to occupy, it will stand long enough to let you get out. And the codes are under constant revision after every earthquake. Example, the '94 Northridge quake was a kind they hadn't seen or planned for. Codes got revised because of it.

        Both Los Angeles and St. Louis sit on top of major faults. Which city would you rather be in when a 7.5 quake hits?

      • Building codes are one of the areas where it's almost impossible to argue against the need for government regulation.

        I propose a building code that stipulates carbon nanotube framing and internal airbags, plus a municipal ordinance prohibiting tchotchkes weighing more than 2 kg. Surely that would save even more lives in the event of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

        • I'm not sure I understand you, but I do realize bad regulations are worse than none at all, and overkill is possible and undesirable even when there is a valid need for reasonable regulations.
          • by srussia ( 884021 )

            I'm not sure I understand you, but I do realize bad regulations are worse than none at all, and overkill is possible and undesirable even when there is a valid need for reasonable regulations.

            My point is that there is no objectively "reasonable" building standard, only what the user, according to his subjective value judgment, and the supplier, according to what it would cost him, are willing to settle on at a certain price.

            • No, I disagree it should be solely up to the builder and buyer. Almost certainly the building will be bought and sold multiple times, and without codes there's no reasonable way for a buyer to know if the building is well-constructed, resulting in the market undervaluing safety/quality due to lack of information, and a subsequent race to the bottom. Moreover, the vast majority of buyers are simply not technically qualified to make these sorts of assessments. Granted the precise optimum is subjective, but
              • by srussia ( 884021 )
                I think the information asymmetry can be overcome by private building rating/certification agencies. A one-size-fits all (mandatory codes within a certain jurisdiction) guarantees a suboptimal exchange (price or quality above or below what would have been the non-regulated outcome). A voluntary exchange between buyer and seller on freely agreed price/quality terms on the other hand means that both parties are better off for the exchange--Pareto optimality!
  • "Prepare For Massive Wave"

    Don't you think it's a bit soon to be making puns?
  • by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:05PM (#35453994)

    Listen, people are idiots and fools are easily parted with their money. More, people have a short attention span and never follow up on the results.

    People were suckered into the whole Haiti thing last year. Morons "texting" cash to charities and schiesters like Bill Clinton and George Bush encouraging people to "just send us your cash". And in the end? No accountability. I don't even need to go into the troubles with the Red Cross and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars, can't seem to account for where all that money went to. Last I recall, Clinton was present to see the handing over of three million bucks or some similarly ridiculously low number.

    You had global donations from governments promised in the billions (at least five billion, I believe). You had moron celebrities holding telethons and telling you that you should give your cash.

    And idiots gave their cash. But they never looked in on what was going on. Why should they? I texted my $10 to some place, so I'm a good person now! I don't need to figure out whatever happened after that!

    Meanwhile, it's a year later and we're told that people are still living in tents and everyone is dying of dysentery or whatever.

    Of course, Japan is less likely to be prone to this kind of problem, I think. The only concern there will be with fake charities trying to scam you out of donations through fake websites and other services. And that's what this article was talking about, to begin with. The problem in Haiti was different, in that they're not the power that is Japan. They're fucking Haiti. And actual real organizations simply behaved criminally after extorting donations from you.

    • Listen, people are idiots and fools are easily parted with their money. More, people have a short attention span and never follow up on the results.

      It's quite true actually, I didn't even read past this line...

    • by khallow ( 566160 )
      Yet more evidence that you can't con an honest man, amirite? I wonder why there's a certain type of person who compulsively has to cast con victims as perpetrators (to the point that they seek to identify the source of "greed") whenever scams and other cons are uncovered on Slashdot.
    • You were on the right track but then went away from your point. Without naming names, it is awfully hard separating the scams from the "legitimate" charities that actually don't spend the money you donate on the crisis but use it for overhead and salaries. Just look at how much some of these main-stream charities spend on advertising (using your dollars, of course). You think all that advertising is free? Nope, they pay for it just so that they can get your name, address, phone and e-mail address. That way
  • With charity there is just too much risk with using agents. Even if they are legitimate, there is not way to know how much money will end up in the hands of people that need help. The Red Cross/Red Crescent, MSF, or the like will tend to get help to the people who need it.

    What I hear most charities say is that people should give regularly so the agencies will have the resources to handle these emergency.

    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      Of course, they say that. They need a regular source of income for their highly paid professional charity executives.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:12PM (#35454056)

    Give to the Organization for Scam Prevention Now!

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

        That's going to cost you. How much do you have?

  • by hort_wort ( 1401963 ) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:21PM (#35454144)

    So I'm just a bit in the gray on this issue. Where's the line drawn on what's morally acceptable with this? If I immediately run and sell all my Japanese stocks and instead buy into rice after seeing all the fields on tv being destroyed, does that mean I'm evil and taking advantage of this situation? I would still end up being in a financially better position as a result of a tragedy.

    • by 0racle ( 667029 )
      If you can equate legitimate business to pretending to be a charity to extort money out of people then I suppose you have a moral conundrum.

      A big difference in your example is that rice companies are actually selling rice, charity scams aren't providing charitable works.
    • You're OK, morally speaking, if you donate a part of your new-found earnings to legitimate earthquake relief funds.
    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      You can do whatever you want, as long as you buy carbon credits to make up for it.

    • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

      Where is the moral gray area?
      You are doing something that does not harm anyone as rice prices will go up no matter what you do.
      Taking money under the guise of charity and keeping it is theft by deception. That is both theft and theft of money that could have helped others.

  • Does that mean I should ignore that email I got about a Japanese princess?
  • I mean, aside from the immediate need for search and rescue, is Japan really going to need donations to recover from this? Last I heard, they were one of the wealthier nations.
  • Relax (Score:5, Funny)

    by droopus ( 33472 ) * on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:53PM (#35454564)

    No aid needed. The GOP has voted to send an emergency humanitarian shipment of tax cuts to the affected area.

    • No that's not correct. You don't aid other people in disasters. They have to learn to be self-reliant. If you aid people in disasters, they will come to expect aid and cease to have their own disaster preparedness. I as a real American won't have any of this socialist disaster welfare. Altruism is evil incarnate.


      • by DavidTC ( 10147 )

        If you aid people in disasters, they won't learn to stop having disasters. Right?

        • some people just seem to like disasters, they keep having them. and for some reason, i can't understand, certain Americans, socialists and fascists, they want to help them, to keep them in a constant state of disaster

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 )

      An important note: if you don't receive any of the tax cuts, do not be alarmed. The tax cuts will be distributed to the rich and should trickle down to you shortly.

  • Just like AIG mortgages, Katrina floods, So Cal wild fires, and America's heath plan, when its time for that insurance in times of disaster, suddenly you realize you don't really have the coverage required to restore your losses. Its kind of like most things when you pay in advance of receiving the goods.
    Lets just see if the insurance industry fell into the cracks, yet again, leaving flood victims "high and dry" in the low and wet. I bet that earthquake coverage just got washed away by all of that salt water. So it you gotta have boat insurance under that much water.

    "Its a Tsunami not an earthquake, Mr. Miagi....so sorry" ....

    All of those disaster policies only sold you a false sense of security, in exchange for years of cash..... Who gets to break their legs if they don't pay...another act of God, or the Yakuza?
  • text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Please don't. 90999 may be legit, but we don't want to be teaching people to donate by sending off texts to random numbers. If you want to give to Red Cross, go to their website, it's much easier to see where the money is actually going there.
  • I know this basically means that the USAF is acting like a glorified FedEx: expediting delivery of a critically needed resource. And I'm glad for that, a China Syndrome reactor accident would make Chernobyl look like Child's play (although, it's Japan, so it would be an Argentina Syndrome reactor accident).

    But I couldn't get the image out of my mind of Slim Pickens riding a refridgerator out of a bomber's bay doors over Tokyo while whooping it up.

    • by treeves ( 963993 )

      I can't understand why they needed the US Air Force to deliver deionized water which should still be available in other parts of Japan.
      It's not like LWR coolant is some specialized material made in government labs. It's DI water. And in a severe emergency (like this?), you could use tap water.

    • IANANuclear engineer, but I always thought reactors just used regular old water and pumps for cooling. this article appears to confirm it [washingtonpost.com]. The Air Force is also denying they sent anything.

      The story had an air of unbeleivability right out of the box. Did Hillary even say anything like that? I dunno. If so, where did she get the info? I dunno.

      Then again, maybe the USAF has some magical coolant that the aliens at Area 51 showed them. It works like this: 1. Pump coolant into reactor. 2. Heat is trans

      • Indeed, I was watching Hillary say earlier that "Japan has run out of coolant, so we've had the US Air Force deliver some to them."

        Made me mad that politians are allowed to just make up stupid crap like that and still hold any sort of position of authority. "Coolant" is water. Furthermore, you'd need several jumbos full of "coolant" to cool a single reactor - and as it's so heavy, you'd only be able to fill a jumbo about 1/4th. There's no way the USAF has delivered enough "coolant" to do anything.


    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      If the US air-force helped, I'm guessing it was by flying in diesel generators to power the cooling pumps where floods have damaged the onsite ones.
      The US airforce has a big presence in Japan.

      a China Syndrome reactor accident would make Chernobyl look like Child's play

      How is that? Chernobyl's core caught fire, putting large amounts of fission product up in smoke.
      A meltdown through the containment base could put some nasty stuff up in steam, but how is that so much worse?

  • I know its prob already been said and I am well aware I am a horrible person for saying this but does anyone else find it morbidly comical that the US Air Force is now flying over Japan to try and prevent a nuclear incident?
    • There is a certain degree of irony in the situation, I agree. (laughs out loud)

      I'm a bit perplexed about what sort of "coolant" could be needed that might be delivered in significant (i.e., useful) quantities by plane. Which makes me rather dubious that some reporters (or politicians) have got the wrong end of a comment.

      IF (and for me, it is an IF) the Japanese have needed to move any equipment or material to the site, then this is a major planning failure. Really major. And it will have international im

  • The yen ROSE almost 2% today. I couldn't figure out why and then it hit me, a massive amount of foreign aid is going to start coming into Japan driving up demand for the yen. Wall Street is taking advantage of this fact and lighter trading due to the Japanese markets being closed to ensure that wall street gets a cut of the aid action. Disgusting.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant