Beware of donation fraud – criminals benefit from the war in Ukraine

The movement has false fundraisers in which scammers have pretended to be philanthropists.

Be careful if you donate money. Adobe Stock / AOP

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, organizations around the world have launched various rallies to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians in need. There are many different donation campaigns in the store, which unfortunately can also accommodate scam campaigns.

Scammers are now brazenly taking advantage of the situation in Ukraine. The movement has a variety of scam sites, publications and emails allegedly related to official collections. Scammers can portray well-known actors such as the Red Cross. In reality, donations through these go straight into the pockets of criminals.

According to Iltalehti, fake collections have been circulating on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram. Spreading charity scams is easy when people can share them without thinking any further.

Criminals ready

Security Expert at the Cyber ​​Security Center Matias Messi says the center has not yet received reports of charitable scams, although they are reported worldwide.

– We are aware of such a scam in the world. However, we have not detected any such scam messages still circulating in Finland. Criminals are trying to take advantage of the exceptional situation that the whole world is following, Messi notes.

According to Messi, scammers can easily change an old scam theme to fit a new one. Scammers usually seek money or information through fake websites.

If you receive a fundraiser that shows a direct account number, Mesis recommends caution.

– The donor should know to which organization they are donating their money. Before donating, it is worth finding out what it is all about and what the backgrounds are. It is also always a good idea to ask the organizer of the collection directly if you have any questions.

– Personally, I would only donate money to organizations that I trust and that are well-known actors. Now the citizens must be careful and keep their heads cold, Messi advises.

When you start making a donation, you should go through the website first.

– It’s good to have an eye on the spelling and how the site looks in general. For example, pay attention to whether contact information or a privacy statement is available. If it is only a single page without further information, the alarm bells should ring.

Mesiä states that the situation is generally stable in terms of cyber security in Finland.

It is possible that the number of scam messages will increase significantly in the coming days as scammers around the world begin to take advantage of the situation. You should be really careful, especially with emails and some publications.

If you want to donate to charity, you should always do so directly through the website of a trusted actor. For example, don’t go for donations directly from email links, but type the correct address directly into your browser’s address bar.