Boston Marathon scams have already started
Ted Hubert

The attorney general of Illinois, warns those donating to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, to beware of fraud.

Those who want to help should make sure the charity is registered and not one that seemed to develop overnight.

It is easy to be scammed when using the internet, so be extra careful when online.

Con artists are trying to profit from this national tragedy. Taking a picture of a young boy— which is actually not a photo of Martin Richard, who died in the bombing—and ask for donations “for the family” is a terrible thing to do.

How can anyone be so heartless? So calloused? So devoid of human decency?

The Joe Cassella Foundation 5K, is a charity organized through the efforts of Vivi Cassella to fight cancer.

Last year a picture of an 8-year- old girl was used as a poster child of the support of effort to bring aid to those suffering from cancer.

A con artist, or artists, used this information supposedly to tie it to someone killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Of course, the eight-year-old killed was a boy not a girl, so equally as fast the truth traveled to homes of computer owners announcing the fraud.

The scam was squelched as quickly as it started and the “Hope for Boston” charity shut down. It did carry some comments from Cassella: “It was just awful”. She felt that it detracted from the mourning of the families of the victims.

The Joe Cassella Foundation 5K is not a charity for the Boston Marathon bombing.

Martin Richard’s coach labeled this player as the epitome of Little League Baseball. Coach Mike Christopher saw promise beyond the years of this 7-year-old last year and recommended Martin to travel with the 8-year-old squad. Martin was friendly and protected his friends when needed. He played infield and pitched and had the ability not to get rattled when the game was on-the-line, so to speak.

Coach Christopher, vows that Martin Richard will not be forgotten. Watch the Little League World Series this year and expect to see Martin’s picture and listen for his name. Martin Richard did a considerable amount during his brief time on earth.

Watch out for these “springup” charities. There are ways to avoid scams. You need to educate yourselves and tell those around you about the dangers people face daily.

Take a deep breath to calm down. Then investigate the charity before you write the check. A couple of websites will help you determine the difference between a registered charity and a charity that pops-up after a tragedy or whatever. Go to “Charity Navigator” or “Guidestar” for reliable information.

The creators of the “Hope for Boston” have not been caught. Let’s hope the authorities keep looking for these criminals.

Attempted murder is a crime. What about attempted fraud? Is it considered a crime? Probably not. It is difficult to prove someone’s intent.

So, we just say, “I wish I could get my hands on these crooks.” That will get you in trouble. Maybe it is because it would be easy to prove your intent.

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2013-05-02 digital edition

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