The generosity of Oklahomans reaching out to help victims of Hurricane Katrina will no doubt be followed by scam artists.

The state's attorney general is preparing for the wave of scam artists who will move through the state. A spokesman for Drew Edmondson's office told the Journal Record that they saw the scams after the Murrah bombing in 1995 and after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

A federal prosecutor quoted by the newspaper said his office investigated more than 170 Internet sites that took advantage of the public's goodwill following the Asian tsunami that killed 300,000 persons.

The FBI is also warning donors to be vigilant in making sure that charities are legitimate. It urges donors to be pro-active and to seek out charities that they know to be legitimate. Locally, that would include the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and various United Way of Norman agencies that have begun helping hurricane survivors.

Just as New Orleans had its small number of looters, Katrina will produce a small number of folks who see the disaster as just another way to commit fraud and line their own pockets.

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