The UK’s national fraud reporting centre has issued a warning to those wanting to help victims of the Ukraine war.
Action Fraud has sent out an alert as cybercriminals are targeting those who want to help victims of the Russian invasion. They have received 196 reports of bogus emails claiming to be fundraising for victims of the crisis.
They state that the fraudsters use a variety of tactics including soliciting Bitcoin donations and sales of t-shirts to lure people in to parting with their money. Links in the emails that they send lead to malicious websites that are designed to steal your money and personal information.
Taking to Twitter, Action Fraud wrote: “We’ve received 196 reports about FAKE emails purporting to raise money for those affected by the crisis in #Ukraine. Some of the emails even claim to be from Wladimir Klitschko.”
Wladimir Klitschko is the brother of Vitali - the mayor of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
A representative from Action Fraud said:
“The links in the emails lead to malicious websites that are designed to steal your money and personal information.
“When donating, check the charity’s name and registration number on the government’s website.
“Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered.”
According to the Charity Commission, the most efficient and helpful way to support those in need is to give money to established, registered charities with experience delivering humanitarian aid.
Details of charities can be checked by searching the Charity Commission register.
Action Fraud has also shared advice about how to detect the scams:
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
To donate online, type in the address of the charity website rather than clicking on a link
Be cautious when donating to an online fundraising page – fake ones are often badly written or contain spelling mistakes
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).