Washington, D.C. – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The FBI continues …

Washington, D.C. – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The FBI continues to provide support to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the State of Minnesota in the bridge collapse investigation in Minneapolis. The federal investigation is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Minneapolis Field Office has provided Special Agents, its Evidence Response Team, and support in the command post. To supplement the Minneapolis personnel assisting with the investigation, the FBI has deployed Evidence Response Team (ERT) members from the FBI’s San Antonio, Pittsburgh, and Chicago Field Offices. ERT members are highly trained in search techniques and equipped with state-of-the-art forensic equipment to aid in the evidence collection process. Underwater Search Evidence Response Team (USERT) members from the Los Angeles, New York, and Washington Field Offices have also responded to the scene. USERT divers are specially trained to locate and recover items of evidence that are believed to be underwater, using the most advanced technology available. Evidence Response Team personnel from the Laboratory Division at FBI Headquarters have also been deployed to support the investigation.

“Although we are not investigating a matter the FBI traditionally has jurisdiction over, we consider our work here to be very important. We are here to assist the NTSB in their investigation, and to support our local partners in the overall recovery effort,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy F. Gossfeld, Minneapolis Field Office.

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.

More information about ERT, USERT, and potential scams is available on www.fbi.gov.

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