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Beware of The “Donate to help children in Ukraine” scam

Ukrainians need help and people from all over the world are offering aid. Historically speaking, America is one of the leading countries when it comes to charity, and we know that a number of our customers are involved in making donations; so here are a few tips to help you make sure your donations make it to Ukraine – not Nigeria...

Please be aware that there is an increasing wave of scammers taking advantage of the generosity of strangers particularly during this crisis. The big technological boom this generation is experiencing is allowing them to use technology to try and redirect the donations towards other accounts. Furthermore, some even try to collect and store private data like ID, card information, billing addresses.

PRIVACYCODE WARNING Michelle Dennedey, CEO of cyber security company Privacycode, is warning regarding the seriousness of the situation. Scammers are now putting together fake charitable websites, and sending emails and text messages that seem real.

Dennedy: “If it's a charity you know and love, go to that charity's website. Don't impulsively click on a link or scan a QR code and think you're helping an individual." GOFUNDME WARNING Gofundme is not a good option if you want to make sure the funds end up where you intend them to. Gofundme is one of the platforms used frequently by the scammers. At the moment, Gofundme has 80 people on staff to vet donation requests and ensure the requests are legitimate; illegitimate requests are an issue.

"It's a reality that fraudulent funds are part of any crisis like this,” said GoFundMe President Juan Benitez. "We work with a variety of different partners and processing partners,” said Benitez. “Local charitable organizations, such as the US State Department, to understand what are valid recipients on the ground." MALWAREBITES LABS WARNING Malwarebytes offers free versions to scan and clean viruses and malware from your devices. It has a decent antivirus scanner, real-time protection that offers multiple layers of protection against malware, system vulnerabilities, and online threats, and a browser extension that provides additional protection against phishing and malicious sites. During the last week, they have detected a "Help Children in Ukraine" scam campaign that is actually being promoted online, by email and even on social media sites. Check out the information they made available here: SAFE WAYS TO DONATE

1. Stick to Charities You know If you are considering donating, try to avoid individual appeals even if they seem to be coming from legitimate firearm companies, stick to groups you know and trust. Keep in mind that information about companies are available to the public and they're easy to access. It wouldn't be for the first time that e-mails that allegedly come from companies are actually coming from scammers. Groups like UNICEF and RedCross are present across the globe. There are hundreds of other well known charities like that.

2. Check with your Employer Another thing you can do in order to make sure your donation is not hijacked, is check with your employers. It's likely that they already have charities they work with and might even match your donations. 3. Use The Ukraine Validated List of Charities And yet another option that is safe to donate is to use this tool: a helpful Twitter thread of verified organizations put together by Ukrainians.

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