Fraudsters are well known to take advantage of global events and incidents, and the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine is no exception. With a growing number of fundraisers and charities supporting efforts to protect the vulnerable populations embroiled in the situation, scammers are hiding in plain sight and playing on the compassion of people.
Scammers use a variety of methods to obtain their ill-gotten gains. They may simply ask for money with no intention of sending it to their proposed destination, or impersonate public figures running fake fundraising campaigns. You may even receive a “gift” or product in return for sending your money in order to make the donation appear legitimate.
Email and messaging services are a popular choice for scammers to conduct their cons but they may even use voice calls, fraudulent online advertisements and websites. It’s important to take your time before transacting with an individual or organisation. It can be difficult to identify charity scams but the following tips will help you to prevent becoming a victim:
It is highly recommended to use established, registered charities – They will be better placed to ensure that the money you donate achieves its intended objective.
Never click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails or respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial details - even if they are in the name of a charity.
Avoid clicking on links and advertisements – If you wish to donate to a specific charitable organisation, type in their website address. Check that the website you are visiting is legitimate and not an imitation.
Be cautious when donating to an online fundraising page. Do your research and don't feel pressed to send your money.
- If you think you are the victim of a fraudulent charity, contact your bank immediately and report it to us.