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DEC warns of fake tsunami appeal website

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Charitable webusers are being warned away from website masquerading as that of the Disasters Emergency Committee. The site, which looks like an older version of the official DEC page, claims to be collecting money to help the victims of the boxing-day earthquake and tsunami. Users are directed there by a spam email, headed "Urgent Tsunami Earthquake Appeal" containing the fake site's URL.

The real Disasters Emergency Committee says it has nothing to do with the site, and that it has informed Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit. Spokeswoman Patricia Sanders told BBC Online that the spam emails first appeared two days after the site, decuk.org, was registered, possibly in Romania. The real DEC site is at www.dec.org.uk.

DEC is working with BT and its hosting company to get the fake site closed, it said, and is in contact with US registrars as well as the faker's own webhosts. It says it will push for all the money sent to the fake site to be handed over to the real organisation. ®

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