Scam Advisory for Donations to Ukraine Relief Funds
Anytime there’s a tragedy – a tornado, a flood, a man-made disaster – there are appeals to help the innocent people affected. And whenever those appeals become popular enough, scammers try to get in on the action by conning the unsuspecting out of their hard-earned money. The same activity can be expected in the wake of Russia’s on-going invasion of Ukraine.
Most cons, whether in-person, over the phone, or online, are variations of the same models that criminals have used for generations. What makes them effective is their emotional appeal. They focus on something people really care about to connect to them and play on their emotions.
There are a few ways to keep you and your loved ones from becoming a victim of Ukraine relief scams and con artists in general:
Beware of unusual or specific payment methods. If someone asks for cash or a wire transfer and won’t accept any other forms of payment, run. Reputable charities should accept multiple payment methods for donations. Methods like cash and wire transfers can’t be traced, which is why criminals may push for them and claim they don’t accept others.
Check the accuracy of their story. Is what they’re claiming to be involved in even possible? Use details from the information they provide to fact check.
Don’t give into pressure to “Act Now!” Creating a sense of urgency is a common tactic used by criminals.
Talk it over with someone you trust. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes to see through an illusion.
Build a support system to protect you and those you care about from the isolation that con artists prey upon.
For more information and tips to avoid scammers, visit General Electric Credit Union’sfraud page. As Cincinnati’s Best Credit Union, we work hard to Improve the Quality of Your Financial Life. That’s why we created a handful of complimentary resources geared at helping you to avoid fraud. In addition to our fraud page, this also includes our Money Minutes blog and on-demand financial webinars. Brush up on important scam topics so you can keep your accounts protected while you give to the causes that matter to you.