As many of you may know the state of Victoria in Australia has seen the worst bushfires ever. The final death toll is expected to be over the 300 and sadly it looks like a number of these fires were lit deliberately.
Whenever an event like this occurs the internet is a place where things move quickly. Domains are registered, sites appear and donations are taken. So we've been keeping an eye on the domains being registered that are relevant to the bushfires.
Sadly there have already been arrests of people trying to profit from this event, by posing as colectors for charities, etc.
So here is a break down of what we've found so far:
- Legit** - Sites that provide support for victims, or information and either do not ask for financial donations or redirect donations to the red cross or Salvation Army.
- victorianbushfire.com, victorianbushfireforum.com, bushfireappeal.com, bushfirehousing.org, vicbushfiresgivehelp.com, victorianbushfires.com, bushfireforum.com, bushfires729.com, bushfiresanta.com
- For Sale - Domains which an enterprising "entrepreneur" has reserved in order to make a buck on the potential demand for the domain. Although to be fair there may be someone who reserved it in order to donate it to an organisation that would like to use it.
- bushfireappeal.org, bushfireblog.com, bushfirerelief.com, victorianbushfireappeal.com, australianbushfires.com, australiabushfire.com, bunkerbushfire.com, bushfirebunkersaustralia.com, bushfirebunkersdownunder.com, thebushfirebunker.com, victorianbushfirereliefvolunteers.or
- Suspect - Currently has no page visible so can't determine the intent
- bushfirebunker.com, bushfirebunkers.com, bushfirerelief.info, bushfirerelief.net, bushfireshelters.co, au-bushfires.com, bushfireactionplan.com, bushfireaid.com, bushfirehomes.com, bushfirehomes.net, bushfirehomes.org, bushfirehousing.com, bushfirehousing.net, bunkerbushfires.com, bushfiresafety.net, bushfiresafety.org, victorianbushfires.info
- Potentially Bad/Misguided - A site asking for financial donations to be submitted to them and they will pass it on. Possibly someone trying to the right thing, but going about it the wrong way.
- bushfireappealqld.org - Not sure what this site is about, but they are asking for donations.
- bushfirevictims.com - Sellling cds and will donate $10 from each to bushfire. Nice idea but donate directly
If you come across domains that are asking for donations that I haven't covered please let us know (markh.isc (at) gmail . com) or via the contacts form. If people want to donate encourage them to use the redcross.org.au site or the salvation army web sites.
**legit as in looks like a site trying to do the right thing. It is by no means a guarantee that they are or will remain so.
Feb 13th 2009