Scammers are reportedly attempting to take advantage of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine using fake fundraising emails to scam unsuspecting Europeans and Americans hoping to support charitable causes in the wartorn country. Donors are advised to manually type in the name of a charity instead of clicking links, and to check charities with watchdogs before donating.

BBC News reports that since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the United Kingdom’s national fraud reporting center, Action Fraud, has received almost 200 reports of fake fundraising emails.


Women and children sit on the floor of a corridor in a hospital in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine Friday, March 11, 2022. Mariupol has been under siege for over a week, with no electricity, gas or water. Repeated efforts to evacuate people from the city of 430,000 have fallen apart as humanitarian convoys come under shelling. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Women and children sit on the floor of a corridor in a hospital in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine Friday, March 11, 2022. Mariupol has been under siege for over a week, with no electricity, gas or water. Repeated efforts to evacuate people from the city of 430,000 have fallen apart as humanitarian convoys come under shelling. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Scammers are reportedly attempting to trick donors with fake charities, some of which are even selling charity T-shirts. Some even more brazen scammers are pretending to be heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko, whose brother Vitali is the mayor of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

Action Fraud has listed a number of ways users can detect and avoid scams, their suggestions can be seen below:

  • 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

An Action Fraud representative stated: “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.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has also reportedly heard multiple reports of scammers using the Ukraine invasion as part of their scamming efforts. “This is wholly deplorable and sadly typical of fraudsters who exploit current affairs to try to trick people,” the NCSC said. “People should be especially vigilant for any suspicious emails or texts that use topical events and report them to the NCSC.”

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