Press Release

For Immediate Release
August 2, 2007

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI Explains Role in Bridge Collapse Investigation; Warns About Possible Scams

The federal investigation is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FBI is in a support role in this incident.

The FBI responded to the collapsed bridge to offer assistance and conduct any investigation necessary. Although it is early in the investigation, we have no reason at this time to believe there is any nexus to terrorism. The Minneapolis office of the FBI has provided special agents, its Evidence Response Team, and support in the command post. Additional Evidence Response Team assistance is being sent from FBI offices in Chicago and San Antonio. "We will provide whatever resources we have available if requested by the NTSB or the State of Minnesota," said Special Agent Richard Kolko from Washington, D.C.

We would also like to share a public service message at this time. In recent history, tragic incidents such as 9/11, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the Virginia Tech shootings have all prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit for contributions for a charitable organization and/or a good cause. Consumers should consider the following:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (SPAM) e-mail.
  • Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as officials soliciting via e-mail for donations.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • To ensure contributions are received and used for intended purposes, make contributions directly to recognized organizations rather than relying on others to make the donation on your behalf.
  • Validate the legitimacy of the organization by directly accessing the recognized charity or aid organization's website rather than following an alleged link to the site.
  • Attempt to verify the legitimacy of the non-profit status of the organization by using various Internet-based resources, which also may assist in confirming the actual existence of the organization.
  • Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions: providing such information may compromise your identity and open you to identity theft.


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