The Shocking Turn of Ukraine Charity Scams & How To Avoid Them in Current Times

After gaining control of an innocent person’s social media account, these scammers start working on how to reach that person’s friends and family members. They pressure them into donating as soon as possible. So, if you ever receive a message from one of your acquaintances, be aware!

April 26, 2022
Ukraine war rubble

Are you also one of those willing to donate money to those innocents getting affected by the wars in Ukraine? As long as it is excellent to do, people need to be aware of the fact that when a major crisis like Ukraine causes a surge of charitable donations, it can bring along some heartless com artists who are always out there trying to take advantage of global goodwill by creating scam charities! Unfortunately, hundreds of scammers take advantage of the invasion to trick you out of your money, either through a phishing scam or one of those fake social media sites claiming to be fundraisers for Ukraine.
Recently, the cybersecurity group Bitdefender has identified thousands of hacked social media pages mainly set up for scams. They were formerly actual pages until criminals took over and started running phony fundraising efforts purporting to help Ukrainians in these challenging situations.

The Dreadful Scenario of Ukraine Charity Scams in 2022

The schemes these scammers use have always been so devastating. After gaining control of an innocent person’s social media account, these scammers start working on how to reach that person’s friends and family members. They pressure them into donating as soon as possible. So, if you ever receive a message from one of your acquaintances, be aware! Michael Coleman has a service agency located in Chicago’s River North Neighborhood, and he was raising money for people in Ukraine through it. However, he says that he was not very successful as all these counterfeit campaigns on social media have made people, including his friends, hesitant before they donate. He encourages everyone to do their homework before they donate as he himself video chats with people in Ukraine. A dreadful scenario!

In addition to this, Weisman says that Tiktok, in particular, has been used massively during the war. For example, one of the videos showed a street lined with cars while screams of sound and gun fired were in the background. That video claimed to be from Ukraine asking for donations when it was actually a scam as the car’s license plates were from the UK.

Nevertheless, these scams have ranged from bogus nonprofit websites on newly registered web addresses to malicious attempts to steal personal data from intended donations to Ukraine. Cyren revealed many of them were impersonating contact details with Ukraine websites to look legitimate. Hence, many scammers just utilized plain old Email accounts to defraud their victims.

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Ways To Identify if You Might be Donating to a Ukraine Charity Scam

Hence, follow some other essential steps to protect yourself. For example, always verify if the website is grammatically correct, check if it has a.gov or.org at the end, and whether it holds an HTTPS rather than an HTTP somewhere at the beginning of its Address. 

Undoubtedly, we all are bound by our emotions when it comes to donating; however, to avoid such scams, it is essential to know about the triggers they bring. In fact, if you’re so unsure when donating, consider phoning the charity you are willing to support. Follow the above steps, especially if dealing with digital currency transactions, as these are nonrefundable. Once you have sent the money, it’s very hard to get the money returned. According to one article by Fortune, Ukraine has raised more than $54 million from bitcoin donations, out of which $15 million has been spent on military supplies such as bulletproof vests.

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Authentic Donation Places for Those Who Want To Donate to The Cause

People often make mistakes when donating for the first time. They may donate with a debit card as they see it as a more straightforward transfer method of transferring money, considering it is directly linked to their bank account. However, they should go for credit cards as it is the safest method. If a charity asks you to pay with anything else, know it’s a scam.

Moreover, you can use the IRS’s Tax Exempt Business Lookup to double-check a nonprofit’s validity. According to the Federal Communications Commission, charity donations to certified organizations are refundable, but gifts to people aren’t. Based in Medaka, Poland, International Empowering Initiative provides accommodation and transportation aid to refugees. At the same time, World Central Kitchen, a charitable group established by Spanish chef José Andrés, delivers cuisine to victims. 

In addition to this, an article was published by US.news that encourages people to never donate to any organization or individual through third-party payment apps such as Venmo as one of the biggest scams rising in the wake of the Ukraine crisis is VenmoTheft.

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Protect Yourself & Those in Ukraine

So far, about one-quarter of Ukraine’s 44 million population has fled the country. Although it is heartbreaking, and we encourage people to donate as much as possible, one should take steps to ensure their donations are going into the right hands. No matter what, vigilance should be your number one key weapon because just about anything can be turned into a scam.

For example, While choosing an organization to give to, look for discrepancies in features, including the institution’s title, contact information, user id, and the terminology seen on the web page. Remember that whatever content you examine on the internet is not authentic.  Scammers attack innocent victims through malicious links and software, fake Instagram, and Facebook pages. Thus, download anti-malware on your smartphones and other devices. Antivirus software, such as Lookout, can continuously detect and discover fraud URLs within emails, texting, and the internet and prevent you from potentially harmful risks. Lastly, NEVER donate by your debit card!

Conclusively, it is evident that the Charity Scams in Ukraine are at a spike! If you want to steer clear, keep yourself safe from falling victim to charity scams, and want to learn more about how these scams work, read the article above carefully and follow the steps to be careful at all times. For example, watch out for the red flags; you never know how smoothly scammers have set traps for you. Also, don’t be scared and never stop donating. What if you were in a situation where you had to leave your country due to war? For more information about scams related to the Ukraine charity scam visit EZChargeback!

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