There’s been an outpouring of support for Ukrainians caught in the middle of war. But if people plan to donate to causes in the country, they should be on the lookout for scams.
Many people are looking for ways to help Ukrainians affected by war. However, they should be on the lookout for scams. Lynn Heider with the Northwest Credit Union Association says unfortunately, emergencies breed fraud. She says credit unions in the Northwest have been heartened by the outpouring for Ukraine, and so there are a few tips to keep in mind with donating. Heider says people should look for well-established charities.
“Consider charities that have global reach, that have experience going into situations like this and providing on-the-ground services that are very effective,” said Heider.
Heider points to two organizations based in the Northwest – Mercy Corps and World Vision – as examples of charities already in Ukraine providing assistance. The Better Business Bureau says it’s already seeing scams pop up. Heider says the organization is a good resource for looking into charities’ legitimacy.
She says people also can check with credit unions because many are directing funds to established organizations. There also are tips for what to avoid, starting with crowd-sourcing sites.
“Be leery of those unless you really know the organization. If you get an ask for cash, checks or gift cards, don’t provide that, and do not provide any of your personal banking information. There’s never a reason to do that.”
Heider says people have options if they’ve been scammed.
“If you feel you’ve been the victim of fraud, file a complaint with your state attorney general’s office because they will take it seriously and investigate, said Heider. Also, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting ‘Reportfraud.ftc.gov.'”