Identity Theft: Phishers May Use Recent College Shootings to Solicit Donations—Identity Theft Expert and Speaker on Personal Security

(BOSTON, Mass. – April 22, 2007 – The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team has issued a warning that the recent mass murder at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University may spawn phishing sites. Robert Siciliano, a widely televised and quoted personal security and identity theft expert, has urged citizens not to let their goodwill blind them to questionable, unsolicited e-mails that request their identifying information and donations. He said reputable organizations rarely send unsolicited e-mails for such purposes.

“It happened after the Tsunami disaster in early 2005 and, again, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” said Siciliano. “The U.S.-CERT’s warning makes perfect sense. There’s no reason to think phishers will, this time, refrain from preying upon our nation’s goodwill for financial gain. Tragedy never stops them; in fact, it only motivates them—to steal.”

CEO of, Siciliano leads Fortune 500 companies and their clients in workshops that explore consumer education solutions for security issues. On its Web site, the Privacy Learning Institute has featured Siciliano, a longtime identity theft speaker. Author of “The Safety Minute: 01,” He has discussed identity theft and data security on CNBC, on NBC’s “Today Show,” FOX News, and elsewhere.

According to the U.S.-CERT warning, the organization “has received reports of an increased number of phishing sites set up in the wake of tragedies and natural disasters.” U.S.-CERT recommended Web visits to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, an organization that tracks and documents known phishing scams.

Readers may view Siciliano’s most recent appearance on “FOX News,” during which he provided insight regarding the tragedy’s aftermath and advice on how college students can protect themselves from violence. See here on YouTube:

“No reputable disaster relief organization is going to send unsolicited blast e-mails asking recipients to provide identifying information and money,” said Siciliano. “Citizens should immediately delete such e-mails. Legitimate, legally-operating groups typically appear on the news to encourage volunteerism or to provide viewers with a secure URL designed to accept contributions and information.”


Identity theft affects us all, which is why Robert Siciliano, CEO of, makes it his mission to provide consumer education solutions on identity theft to Fortune 500 companies and their clients. A leader of personal safety and security seminars nationwide, Siciliano has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, “The Suze Orman Show,” “ABC News with Sam Donaldson,” “The Montel Williams Show,” “Maury Povich,” “Sally Jesse Raphael,” and “The Howard Stern Show.”

Visit Siciliano’s Web site,; blog,; and YouTube page,

The media are encouraged to get in touch with Siciliano directly:

Robert Siciliano
Personal Security Expert
PHONE: 888-SICILIANO (742-4542)
FAX: 877-2-FAX-NOW (232-9669)

The media may also contact:

Brent W. Skinner, President
PHONE: 617-875-4859
FAX: 866-663-6557