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Australian watchdog warns of MH17 scams

Australia's consumer watchdog has warned people to be wary of scams seeking to take advantage of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy, saying false Facebook profiles had already been set up.

SYDNEY: Australia's consumer watchdog has warned people to be wary of scams seeking to take advantage of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy, saying false Facebook profiles had already been set up.

In an attempt to make money from the tragedy of the jet which was apparently shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board, fake social media profiles of some Australian victims had been created, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

"The profiles direct people to a blog where they are then bombarded with dubious advertisements," the ACCC said in a statement late Monday. "If you click on the advertisement, the scammer can make money from the advertising 'service' (where they receive advertising revenue for each click through to a client's website or product)."

The watchdog warned that the website could also be infected with malware, potentially compromising the security of the computers used to access the website.

Scammers are also known to use major news stories -- including tragedies such as missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and the 2013 Boston marathon bombing -- to seek donations for fake charities, the ACCC warned.

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