Scammers Use “Help Ukrainian Victims” as bait, Gov Hochul Warns

Scammers Use “Help Ukrainian Victims” as bait, Gov Hochul Warns

By Yehudit Garmaise

As charity scams that claim to help Ukrainians are on the rise, Gov. Kathy Hochul warned New Yorkers to carefully evaluate all requests for funds before donating money to unfamiliar organizations.

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection, which says that consumers should verify the legitimacy of all charities before donating, has learned of many fraudulent requests for charitable relief money to support victims of the war.

“The invasion of Ukraine provides an opportunity for fraudsters to set up fake charities or pose as compelling war victims,” said Gov. Hochul, who's trying to fight cybercrime. “Others design websites to mimic a legitimate charity's official site to steal unsuspecting donors' money and/or personal information.

“Remember if something seems suspicious: it likely is."

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection recommends that consumers take following precautions before donating money online.

1. Verify anyone who is requests donations. Scammers who request donations frequently pose as friends, family members, and acquaintances on social media, however, it is easy to copy someone else's photo and biographical information and create fake online accounts. 

2. Research the charity. Charity websites can be easily created. Before donating, consumers can verify charities by searching their names online: and adding search terms like "review" and "scam". 

3. Resist high-pressure tactics. When situations are urgent and heart-wrenching, scammers often pressure victims to donate immediately.

4. Keep personal information private. Never provide your Social Security number, credit card, or debit card number, and other personal identifying information to unsolicited charitable requests. 

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