Wales

Ukraine crisis: warning about fake charity appeals

February 28th 2022

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is resulting in loss of life, horrific injuries, the destruction of property, homelessness and an increasing refugee crisis.

Whilst there is little that the population of the UK and other countries can practically do to help, there are a number of charitable appeals that have been set up to provide urgently needed help for victims of the crisis.

Unfortunately, conflicts such as that we are witnessing in Ukraine, as well as other political crises and natural disasters, are almost always exploited by fraudsters who orchestrate bogus charity appeals. They appeal to the better nature of ordinary people who wish only to play their part in relieving the misery of victims.

The scams are perpetrated via emails, text messages, social media posts and phone calls, and are frequently highly convincing. They appeal for card payments directly or set up fake websites designed to defraud you, steal your personal information or infect your computer or other device with ransomware or some other kind of malware.

Another commonplace issue during such crises is that of clickbait, where rather than appealing for money, people post sensational stories or images which if clicked on, can lead to similar websites, or those containing fake news or misinformation.

Safeguard yourself

  • Donate to the Disasters Emergency Commitee, where 15 of the leading aid charities in the UK are working together to provide aid https://www.dec.org.uk/
  • Do not click on links in unexpected / unsolicited emails, social media posts, instant messages, or texts. Instead, search authentic charities online and visit their website.
  • Ensure that appeal website addresses are spelled correctly and payment pages are secure (look for ‘https’ and a locked padlock in the address bar)
  • Do not click on attachments in unexpected / unsolicited emails.
  • If you get a phone call appealing for charitable donations for victims of the Ukraine or other crises, regard it as fraudulent and put the phone down.

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