Help Boston Marathon victims without getting scammed

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - As the investigation continues into the Boston Marathon explosions, people around the country are looking for ways to help.

Tragedies like this can provide a cover for scammers.

In the hours following the Boston Marathon explosion, fake charities and links popped up all over Facebook and Twitter.

"Things like this always bring out the best in people," said Arkansas Better Business Bureau President/CEO Janet Robb. "You hear stories of those willing to help. But it can also bring out the worst in people and unfortunately we see it every single time."

One Twitter post which received thousands of retweets asked for support for a young girl killed in the explosion and linked to a fake Twitter account "@HopeforBoston".

The picture was not from the Boston Marathon and the girl pictured was not one of those killed.

The account was later suspended by Twitter.

An 8-year-old boy was one of three people killed.

"I guarantee you there are already some websites that have been put up since yesterday afternoon that are taking in donations and they're not who they claim to be," Robb said.

Rob said there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Don't click on links.

"That's what we'll see more than anything, we will see the emails coming in with the links and the links will have either malware or will send you off somewhere else," Robb said.

Instead, find donation sites by looking them up yourself.

Verifying the charity's information before you provide your own personal information will also help protect you from scams.

"What we don't want to have happen is to have additional victims from another source after an event like this," Robb said. or provide a list of charities.

A few real sites you can use to help victims:

- The American Red Cross disaster fund. According to their website, the Red Cross says it has enough blood and financial resources committed to Boston, but asks that people make appointments to give blood in the weeks and months ahead.

- The Salvation Army