In a sickening act of inhumanity, scammers have been taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine by posing as the Ukraine Red Cross on social media in a bid to defraud good-willed people out of their money.
We're starting to see scams emerge which attempt to use the situation in Ukraine to extort money from people who are doing all they can to help those caught up in the war-torn country, as many Ukrainians seek refuge and shelter from the military action by Russia.
You may have seen on news channels the generosity and kindness that many people are showing to Ukrainians during this horrendous invasion on their homeland.
Refugees are fleeing the country with little or no money, home comforts or basic every-day items, and people across the globe are 'Standing With Ukraine' and donating clothes, food, toiletries and cash. People have come together in unison to help the beleaguered country and its nationals.
However, amidst the goodness of humanity lies a dark underbelly of scammers who are seeking to defraud those good people who are donating whatever they can to the relief effort.
On March 7, The Ukrainian Red Cross issued a warning via their official social media channels that bogus pages, particularly Instagram pages, have been created to dupe people into believing they are the official Ukrainian Red Cross. See the below images for some examples.
The pages have been made to look realistic as a hook to catch people out and prey on their generosity. Obviously any money donated via these fake pages will not go towards any appeal for Ukraine. It will most likely land in the pockets of nefarious scammers.
In a Tweet from their official account, @RedCrossUkraine urged people to be alert to the scams...
At the time of writing, all the fake pages that have been identified are still live. The EMCRC has reported the fakes to Instagram and is pending a response/outcome.
Please be mindful of these scams, and check the origins of requests to support the crisis. If you come across scams please report them to OurWatch.co.uk
If you wish to donate direct to the Ukraine Red Cross, you can do so via their official website: Товариство Червоного Хреста України – Ukrainian Red Cross Society
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).