NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- In the wake of Japan's quake crisis, many Americans are eager to help. But they must be aware of scammers seeking to take advantage of them.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said they are already investigating one potential scheme where fraudsters misrepresent themselves as the British Red Cross and seek donations in the form of wire transfers.
"I hadn't heard about this yet, but sadly this has happened previously," said Penny Sims, spokeswoman for the British Red Cross. "After a major disaster there are some unscrupulous people that try to use other people's misfortune to their own end."
So far this is the only scam the FBI has received complaints about, but "agents are looking for more of those types of appeals," said Jenny Shearer, a spokeswoman with the FBI.
After the earthquake in Haiti, more than 350 complaints were filed about fraudulent activity, she said.
"Anytime something comes into your inbox asking for money, rather than answer, call your local Red Cross yourself," FBI's Shearer advised. "Anytime someone comes to you asking for money, you should be suspicious.
"In my experience, the Red Cross has never emailed me, never," she added.
To further protect those eager to make donations, the FBI has issued the following guidelines:
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.79%||3.76%|
|15 yr fixed||3.00%||2.96%|
|30 yr refi||3.77%||3.75%|
|15 yr refi||3.01%||2.98%|
Today's featured rates:
Nike is opening up shop on Amazon.com and the company plans "big shifts" over the coming year. More
The shutdown, which raised protests from navigator groups, will occur from midnight to noon on on all but one Sunday. More
As if Uber's new CEO didn't already have his work cut out for him, Dara Khosrowshahi has to deal with losing London. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
When you're making big career decisions, you turn to your mentors and your trusted peers. But how do you find these mentors and trusted peers in the first place? More