Beware charity scams exploiting Ukraine war

Fraud Awareness
Views & insights

Scammers are using fake donation websites to exploit people’s generosity during the Ukraine war. Here’s how to ensure your money goes to the right cause.


10 March 2022 | 2 minute read

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the number of fake donation websites has steadily increased as scammers try to take advantage of the kindness and generosity of those looking to help.

If you wish to support the people of Ukraine through a donation, make sure your money goes to the right cause.

Be especially cautious of emotional pleas for help that may land in your email or that appear in your social media feeds. While social media sites often play a major role in promoting charitable causes in a time of crisis, they are also fertile ground for fraud.

If you are looking to make a charitable donation, here are a few tips for how to do it safely:

  • Check carefully before giving – consider sticking to well-known organisations that have a history of work in the field and have some presence or partners in Ukraine.
  • Donate your money via the organisation’s website or approach the charity directly for guidance. We have provided a list of legitimate websites below.
  • Be wary of requests to wire money or send gift cards. Charities don’t normally request this kind of ‘donation’.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments in unsolicited emails or social media messages, particularly from unknown sources and those that add to the sense of alarm. They may attempt to lure you into unwittingly downloading malware onto your device.
  • Be wary of messages, even from trusted sources, until you verify that the message is authentic. To do this, contact the source by other means – for example, by phone if you received the message by email.
  • Be sceptical of social media posts that promote a charity unless you have verified that the organisation is legitimate. The friend recommending it may not have done their research and the number of likes on a social media post should not be taken as proof of its legitimacy.
  • Don’t give in to undue pressure – fraudsters will attempt to use the urgency of the situation to rush you into donating.

Legitimate websites for making charitable donations include:

Disasters Emergency Committee (Ukraine Appeal) - The UK Government will match pound-for-pound up to £20 million donated by the public to this appeal

Action Against Hunger (Ukraine Emergency Appeal)

British Red Cross (Ukraine Crisis Appeal)

CARE International UK (Emergency in Ukraine)

International Rescue Committee (Crisis in Ukraine)

World Vision (Ukraine Crisis Appeal)

UNHCR UK(Ukraine Emergency)

UNICEF (Protect Children in Ukraine)

Save the Children (Ukraine Appeal)

British-Ukrainian Aid

Information contained in this document is believed to be reliable and accurate, but without further investigation cannot be warranted as to accuracy or completeness

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