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Don’t Get Caught in a Ukraine Relief Scam

Don’t Get Caught in a Ukraine Relief Scam

People across the globe are looking for ways to help Ukrainians during their wartime by donating money to charitable organizations. Unfortunately, scammers are slyly trying to con those donors. Here’s what you need to know about Ukraine relief scams and how to avoid them.


How the scams play out


Ukraine relief scams convince potential donors that they are legitimate charities established to help pay for shelter, food and supplies for Ukrainian refugees. They use various tactics, including phone calls and emails, to ask for donations. However, if the target makes a donation, their money does not make it to Ukrainian refugees. Instead, it lands in the hands of scammers for use in, perhaps, even more sinister endeavors.


Red flags


Charity scams can be challenging to spot, but little info can help you identify them. First, be wary of any organization that markets too aggressively. Next, look for typos and spelling errors in their marketing material. Finally, if the “organization” insists on payment by prepaid gift card or wire transfer, it’s probably a scam.


How to avoid getting scammed


  • Never click a link or email attachment to donate online. 

  • Never share your Social Security number, credit card or debit card number, or any other identifying info while online or on the phone with an unverified contact. 

  • Look up a charity you’d like to donate to on a charity-vetting site like Charity Navigator or CharityWatch.

  • After you’ve verified that a relief fund is legit, contact them on your own to make a donation. 

  • Make your charitable donation via credit card.


Here are some verified charities that are collecting donations for Ukraine:



If you’ve been scammed


If you believe you’ve been targeted by a Ukraine relief scam, alert the FTC. If your credit card account has been compromised, consider putting a fraud alert on your credit report. If you’ve paid with a gift card, contact the company to ask about a possible refund. Finally, be sure to tell your friends about the scam to help them stay safe


Ukraine needs our support, but scammers are intent on taking advantage of the crisis. Follow the tips outlined here to stay safe. 

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