Cyber crooks are making money out of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami by sending out scam emails asking for donations.

Fraudsters have been asking people for ‘monitory help’ (sic) in emails marked ‘urgent’, computer security firm Symantec has warned. 

One message from a ‘Joseph Bridgero’ offered a 50 per cent share of £7.5 million held by a victim of the double tragedy.

Samir Patel, from Symantec, said: “In addition to spam, within the first few hours of the earthquake and tsunami, Symantec researchers observed more than 50 domains with the names of either “Japan tsunami” or “Japan earthquake”.

“These domains may be used in phishing and spam attacks.”

Japan earthquake: tsunami warning for Australia and New Zealand

Meanwhile, families missing loved ones have received false death notices on Google people finding websites.

Emma Hickebottom said her family were devastated when a message posted on such a website about her missing brother Brian Hickebottom said: “I have received information that this person is dead.”

But the information, posted by someone called Lucas A was false.

Ms Hickebottom, 28, from Cardiff, said: “We’d had a spam email saying he was dead and we were very distressed. I came home to be with my parents but luckily Brian and his family are safe and it was just some sick person who said he was dead.”

The 34-year-old English teacher from Birmingham had survived by taking refuge in a school with his wife Sanae, 37, and five-month-old daughter Erin.

Japan tsunami: Australians still missing