BBB warns of online donation scams in Ukraine

“As consumers, we want to donate. We want to give help. We want to help people in need,” said BBB’s Bryan Oglesby, “and the scammers will take advantage of that.

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s hard to watch what’s happening in Ukraine and not want to do something to help.

But now there’s a warning from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​that you need to hear before you click on a link or donate your hard-earned cash.

Many people get emotional watching images from Ukraine. Unfortunately, the scammers know this, causing the BBB warning.

“As consumers, we want to donate. We want to give help. We want to help people in need,” said BBB’s Bryan Oglesby, “and the scammers will take advantage of that.

The BBB, predicting a wave of scams, has already noticed an increase both online and on social media platforms like TikTok. People can be seen in tears crying out for help, with no way of knowing if they are legitimate.

“You really don’t know if this individual is telling the truth or not. So the advice on crowdfunding sites is that you should only give to people on crowdfunding sites that you know and trust,” Oglesby said.

In addition to scams that play on our emotions, the BBB says to beware of others who appeal to people’s greed.

“They’re going to ask you to invest money to make money,” Oglesby said. “They’re going to ask you to pay with alternative methods you’re not used to, like bitcoin or using money transfer apps.”

Instead, the BBB advises those wishing to help to work with larger, well-established charities, especially those that already have a presence in Ukraine and can actually provide help where it is most needed.

The office has a list of these organizations at www.give.org.

Oglesby says the site’s charities are audited by the BBB, “against 20 accountability standards, and we are continually adding to this list of charities that have identified on their website that they provide assistance to people in need in Ukraine”.

The Better Business Bureau says it’s not trying to dissuade people from donating to causes in Ukraine, but they want to make sure that if you do decide to donate, that money will go where you left it. foreseen.

The BBB indicates, as a reminder, that investments made in legitimate charities based in the United States may be tax deductible. This may not be the case abroad.

In our area there are a number of legitimate local charities and relief groups working to help people in Ukraine. You can find several here.

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