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  • Ukraine war: Investigation finds hundreds of fake charity websites

    Created: 05/05/2022

    Online scammers have been using hundreds of fake charity websites to trick people wanting to donate to Ukraine, a BBC investigation has found.

    According to the BBC news article, the investigation identified a bogus site, calling itself Save Life Direct - which claimed to have raised $100,000 (£80,000) - was registered to a man based in Abuja, in Nigeria. When he was traced and contacted by the BBC, he initially claimed he was sending donations to a "friend" in western Ukraine.

    Later, he admitted he hadn't raised $100,000 at all. He said he would provide proof the site was real but he did not - and the following day, the website was taken down.

    A key indication that this website was a scam included the fact that it had no charity number available - this is something you must always confirm before donating to any charity. 

    The investigation also found the existence of "hundreds of sites"  that were scamming people out of money and many using emotionally-charged language, including pretending to be real people in Ukraine in need of help.

    One bogus site had stolen the details of a real organisation raising cash for the Ukrainian military - putting up an alternative address, controlled by the scammers, to which money could be sent. Others stole the logos and branding of the charity Save the Children and used these to create fake websites. Other scammers have even pretended to be getting equipment to soldiers on the front line.

    Any Fifers who are interested in donating money to support Ukrainian refugees, please visit Fife Council's Ukraine invasion webpage for details of reputable charities that are safe for you to donate to. 

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