Financial Friday: Scammers take advantage of Ukraine crisis

Scammers are especially targeting the elderly
WAFF's Haley Baker reporting
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 1:09 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Scammers are at it again. Be on the lookout for scammers asking for donations to aid Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees amid Russia’s ongoing invasion. There are a lot of reputable organizations out there working to help the people of Ukraine.

WAFF spoke with Patricia Lloyd with Redstone Federal Credit Union. She says these types of scams are on the rise, and they’re targeting the good nature of senior citizens. Scammers have used crises in the past as opportunities to target members of the public with fraudulent donation schemes.

Lloyd says you can protect yourself from scams by doing the following:

  • Research the charity before giving: You can look up charities and their legitimacy online at several different websites including- 1.) www.give.org 2.) https://www.charitywatch.org/ 3.) https://www.charitynavigator.org/
  • Don’t give in to high-pressure tactics: If someone is demanding immediate payment or sensitive personal information, it’s likely a scam.
  • Be suspicious of online communications: Especially if the person is claiming to be an individual affected by the conflict in Ukraine and seeking immediate financial assistance.
  • You can also check to see if the charity is registered with your state’s charity regulator, by checking the Internal Revenue Service’s website (https://www.irs.gov).

If you believe you have been a victim of a financial internet scam or a fraudulent scheme related to the Ukrainian crisis, please file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov. If possible, include the following:

  • Identifying information about the individuals or charity, including name, phone number, address, and email address.
  • Financial transaction information such as the date, type of payment, amount, account numbers involved, the name and address of the receiving financial institution, and receiving cryptocurrency addresses.
  • Describe your interaction with the individual, including how contact was initiated, such as the type of communication, the purpose of the request for money, how you were told or instructed to make payment, what information you provided to the criminal actor, and any other details pertinent to your complaint.

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