First published: 27 June 2022
Ukraine Crisis Scams
The FBI has recently warned about fraudulent schemes seeking donations or other financial assistance related to the crisis in Ukraine.
Criminals are taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine by posing as Ukrainian entities needing humanitarian aid or developing fundraising efforts, including monetary and cryptocurrency donations.
Criminals similarly have used past crises as opportunities to target members of the public with fraudulent donation schemes.
When you meet a fundraiser in-person, check their credentials:
- Street collectors should wear an ID badge that is clearly visible.
- Any collection buckets should be sealed and undamaged. Most fundraising materials should feature a charity’s name, registration number and a landline phone number.
- If in doubt, ask for more information – a genuine fundraiser should be happy to answer your questions.
When giving online, make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information:
- Type in the charity website address yourself, rather than clicking on a link, and look for the registered charity number on the website.
- Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails.
- Never respond to unsolicited messages or calls that ask for your personal or financial details.
- Beware of any online advertisements that just feature a mobile number.
- Ignore requests to donate through a money transfer company as this is a popular scam.
- Only donate to online fundraising pages created by a person or organisation you know and trust. If in any doubt, contact the charity directly.
Places to check a charity:
- Research the charity online to see if there are news, reviews, or posts linking the charity to fraud.
- Check to see if the charity is registered with the Government: Search the charity register - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Check the Fundraising Regulator's online Directory to see if the charity has committed to good fundraising practice: The Directory | Fundraising Regulator
After making these checks, if you think that a fundraising appeal is fake, report it to Action Fraud. If you are based in Scotland, report to 101.
Above information used from FBI and Action Fraud.