ON YOUR SIDE: Scammers take advantage of Boston marathon tragedy

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Watch out for scams claiming to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Phony charities and fraudulent accounts have flooded social media.

12 On Your Side is working to help you select safe options for giving.

It's sad to have to warn people of predators who play on emotions, but it happens like clock work. Scammers come out when people are hurt and others want to help.

Several Twitter accounts were shut down today to stop crooks from capitalizing on the terror in Boston. The accounts were set up within hours after the Boston Marathon finish line explosions.

One Twitter account had 52,000 retweets - a fake accounts soliciting donations.

Attempts at fraud don't stop there. By this afternoon, over 100 website domain names were established referencing the Boston Marathon bombings.

"125 domain names were registered, in some way or another, with the Boston Marathon, charity, giving and so on," said Tom Gallager, President of B.B.B. in Central Virginia.

Gallager is urging people to wait, check out the charity before donating, and find out where your money is going.

"Don't do an impulse gift," said Gallager. "If people need money today, they are going to need it tomorrow. Before you give anybody a dime, double check that they have registered in the state."

Also circulating are fake pictures of injured people, including an 8-year-old girl killed at the Boston Marathon - except the child killed was a boy. Proof, Gallagher says, scammers will stop at nothing get what they want.

"Just be sure that you know how the money is going to be distributed. There are bad guys, and there are well meaning amateurs who will set these things up, and both of them rank pretty much the same in my book."

Make sure your donation is tax deductible and it's a 501c3 charity organization.

Right now, the American Red Cross says it already has enough blood and financial resources, for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

There are several organizations offering ways in which you can help: http://bit.ly/11ncm5o

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