Scams target people wanting to help Ukrainians

As the Ukrainian people fight to repel a fury of Russian weapons, a volunteer army from the Hudson Valley rushes in to respond.

Giving efforts like that of the AFYA Foundation in Yonkers are positive proof of the growing sense of helplessness many people are feeling across the tri-state. AFYA officials say many ask what can I do? How can I help?

But this outpouring of support comes with a warning from the authorities – people need to be very careful about who to support. The Turn to Tara investigative team discovered that charity scams were already abounding.

The team discovered a few examples of fake donation websites featuring the Ukrainian flag and soldiers fighting for their freedom. Another displays a massive blast and hell, conveniently pointing out that the site accepts most credit cards and even Apple Pay.

There are also calls on social media from alleged victims seeking donations via Bitcoin. “It’s very common in times of crisis or war for these scams to come out of the carpentry,” says Better Business Bureau spokesman Brian Rauer.

Last year alone, Americans said they lost $1.6 billion to charity fraud. The average victim lost about $1,000, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Here are simple ways to stay ahead of the scammers:

“I think you should also check how much money is going to relief versus the administrative costs. Any charity that tells you 100% is going to relief is probably misleading you,” Rauer warns.

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