Local and federal agencies advise donors to be on the lookout for fake Ukrainian charities | News, Sports, Jobs

Maui News

Local and federal agencies are warning residents to beware of fake charities seeking donations for Ukraine amid the country’s war with Russia.

“Scammers follow the headlines and take advantage when they can”, Keali’i Lopez, state director of AARP Hawai’i, said in a press release Tuesday. “The public’s desire to support Ukraine in this critical time of need is no exception.”

According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, which advises caution with the Better Business Bureau and the FBI, solicitations for donations can be made by phone, email, text, social media, or even in person.

Fake charities can use similar names to existing charities to legitimize themselves and can pressure potential donors to act quickly – which is a red flag – by donating money through an app. payment, by text or by buying gift cards and sharing the numbers on the back, says AARP.

Less common forms of payment are also a red flag, although criminals can also request check, cash or credit card payments. AARP recommends always opting for a credit card, which offers better consumer protection than other payment methods.

Scammers could even set up fake donation websites and make fraudulent money requests, the Better Business Bureau has warned. According to the FBI, scams are common after high-profile events.

To help prevent fraud, residents can research charities before donating on sites like give.org or charitywatch.org. Charity Navigator also has a page specifically dedicated to successful charities engaged in relief efforts in Ukraine at charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=9366.

For more tips on wise giving to relief efforts in Ukraine, visit give.org/news/wise-giving-wednesday-tips-on-donations-to-assist-ukraine-relief-efforts.

For scam alerts, register at aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call a trained fraud specialist on AARP’s Fraud Hotline at (877) 908-3360.

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