Better Business Bureau reminds, ‘read all the fine print’ in case of Russia-Ukraine war scams
Due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, people around the world are continuously looking to donate to charities to help Ukraine.
In recent weeks, individuals have appeared on social media claiming to be in Ukraine or have family in the area who they’re trying to help.
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The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has advised caution, however. While it’s important to help, it’s just as important to wary of potential scams. Not only do fraudulent requests for money steal money from well-intentioned people, they also prevent those funds from helping the people that actually need it.
Sandra Guile from the national BBB office recently spoke with Fox Business, recommending that people remember to protect their personal and financial information whenever donating to online fundraisers.
“Read all the fine print on what information is being collected about donors and if payment information is secured,” she said.
She also explained that if you have any questions before donating, it’s always a good idea to contact the charity directly.
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Those continuously looking to donate should check out Give.org for information about various relief programs, according to the BBB. The bureau also advises donating to already-established organizations so funds and supplies can be dispersed appropriately and in a timely manner.
In addition, be aware of individuals posting pleas for online donations. While many Ukrainian citizens have taken to social media to share their stories, it’s also just as easy for people to fake these stories as well.
Recently, a Ukrainian-born woman who lives in Pennsylvania, spoke with Fox News Digital about how her identity was apparently stolen in an attempt to seize donations. The woman, who had been raising money and collecting supplies for people in her embattled homeland, said an unknown individual had been using a fake Instagram account in an effort to obtain donations directly from her loved ones.
Whitney Adkins, director of strategic marketing at the BBB office in Louisville, spoke with News 40 about similar types of scams.
Adkins said, “Anyone can pull photos online and claim that it’s someone they know in Ukraine, claim that it’s a Ukrainian family that they have close ties to, or whatever the case may be. It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true, so you want to approach with caution. “
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She continued, “Again, do your research, make sure that you trust, if you choose to give to a crowdfunding source, just make sure that you trust, again, that the money is going to where you want it to go.”