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||3.99%||3.96%|
|15 yr fixed||3.16%||3.13%|
|30 yr refi||4.01%||3.98%|
|15 yr refi||3.18%||3.15%|
Today's featured rates:
Irish drug maker Mallinckrodt will have to pay a $100 million fine and allow one of its competitors to produce a life-saving medication used to treat infants. The company hiked the price of the drug from $40 per vial to more than $34,000 per vial over the course of about 15 years. More
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave her outlook on monetary policy days before Donald Trump becomes president. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Navient, formerly part of Sallie Mae, was sued by the CFPB Wednesday for allegedly cheating borrowers out of repayment rights. More