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Giuliani: Beware con artists

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In an attempt to keep con artists from defrauding the families of victims in the World Trade Center disaster, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday each family will be given a wooden urn containing soil from the site.

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"I make that announcement now because we have found out that some people are trying to sell some things from the World Trade Center to families," said Giuliani.

He urged families not to buy from people offering to sell such mementos represented as originating from the site "because they're probably almost certainly defrauding you."

In a related development, Giuliani announced that the city had sold $1 billion in bonds Monday to raise money to help the New York rebuild.

The sale "was our most successful ever," said Giuliani, who attributed the demand to "people's willingness to make a statement that they support New York and also (that) they realize that the economy of New York is a very, very solid one."

The mayor also praised Delta Air Lines' announcement that it will give 10,000 passenger free tickets to New York City from all over the country to help boost the city's economy, which has taken a hit since the attacks.

"I think it's just a wonderful way to make a statement about the fact that terrorists can't stop us or hinder us from doing what we want by coming to New York City," Giuliani said.

Looting nearly nonexistent

The enormity of the disaster may have helped keep incidents of looting to a minimum, Giuliani said.

"I think people are just too shocked and too upset," he said. "Every time I see it, you get more and more upset about it."

Giuliani urged charities collecting donations for the families of the people affected by the disaster to agree among themselves on a process to ensure the funds are fairly distributed.

Giuliani reiterated that he would coordinate the distribution of federal funds.

Though charitable organizations have reported receiving large donations, Giuliani said more would be needed. "If you calculate the number of families and you divide it by the amount of money being raised, it's not as much money as you think."

In another development, Giuliani said 363 people have been confirmed dead -- 301 of whom have been identified. Many bodies were found Monday under a collapsed stairwell, said Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. They included 64 firefighters, officials said.

The police department now lists 5,219 people as missing. That figure is compiled from six sources, and may contain some redundancy, Giuliani has said.

The family center has compiled a list of 4,392 people reported as missing. The true number is expected to be somewhere between the two figures.

Death certificates, emergency aid

As of Tuesday afternoon, 1,202 applications for death certificates had been filed at the family center. The center has also accepted applications from 1,269 people for food stamps and emergency funds, Giuliani said.

Even as an army of workers has removed 161,387 tons of debris from the site, the mayor reported progress toward reopening buildings in the World Financial Center across the street.

The Merrill Lynch building is on track to open October 22, he said. Other buildings in the complex will not reopen for 10 to 12 weeks, he said.

From the point of view of attendance at businesses and schools, "we're roughly back to an average day," said Giuliani, who noted that schools Tuesday reported 88 percent attendance -- a routine figure, he said. The same was true for area businesses, he said.

The city's requirement that vehicles entering Manhattan below 63rd Street contain more than one person appears to be working, Giuliani said. It was started on an experimental basis last week.

Ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan that began after the attacks, when roads into Lower Manhattan were shut to commuters, may become permanent, Giuliani said.


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