How to Recognize a Fake Charity
Alexander Storozhuk, founder of the online platform PRNEWS.IO
On February 24 this year, Russia invaded Ukraine. From the first day of the war, Ukrainians and people from all over the world began transferring money for the AFU, buying medicine, and supporting those who fled the bombing and occupation to other regions.
This unprecedented willingness to help has catalyzed the activities of virtual scammers and fake charities. In this regard, the team of online platform PRNEWS.IO tells how to keep a cool head and not become victims of scammers.
Signs of a fake foundation:
- has no contacts for feedback, does not maintain (does not update) social networks;
- offers to transfer financial aid to a physical person's card;
- phishing (fake) site;
- cheap site (mistakes, poor quality pictures, auto-translate text, etc.);
- youcontrol.com.ua service has no data on the fund.
How do I Get in Touch With the Foundation? You Can't!
In order for a voluntary donation to really help people, first of all, check the contacts of the foundation. On the official website of the charity, in addition to the details for the money transfer, it is mandatory to include: working phone numbers (they are easy to reach!), physical and legal address, profiles in social networks.
Please note: social media should not have been created a "week ago", content should be regularly updated, and subscribers should leave comments and reactions under posts.
Do not transfer money to organizations whose phone numbers are stubbornly silent, and social media accounts contain only pictures and reposts. The site's authenticity is enhanced by information about the founders, the foundation's team, the financial statements, and the official checking account.
Transfer Money to the Card!
On the Internet, on social networks and in various groups, heartbreaking publications constantly appear, in which representatives of fake foundations ask for help for a wounded AFU soldier, a family with many children, left homeless, etc. As a rule, such posts are illustrated with photos of bandaged legless men and crying children, which should arouse as much emotion from readers as possible.
To avoid enriching the pockets of fraudsters, carefully check this kind of content: accounts of volunteers and foundations in social networks, contacts of the charitable organization, etc. Pay attention to the authenticity of people who need financial help, as well as the authenticity of their photos.
You can check them with a picture search. To do this, right-click on the picture, copy its address, and select the "search by picture" option in the search engine. Then paste the copied address. If you will see the same picture offered for sale on a photostock or with a description of another fee, don't transfer the money.
Another sign of a fake charity: scammers ask to transfer to an individual's card. The use of personal bank cards is a very bad sign, since an official charity always has a bank account.
A Fake Foundation is a Fake Website
Verifying the authenticity of a charitable foundation's website will help protect donors from contact with scammers. It won't take much time, but it will minimize the risk of getting into an online phishing site.
During the war in Ukraine and the unprecedented number of people in need of help, phishing is developing so quickly and intensively that fake pages are hard to distinguish from real ones. Be very careful: domains look the same, but are spelled with slight differences.
Check the domain in the address bar and compare it to the original domain address. Phishing sites use similar domains for Internet users. For example, the domain of a charity looks like this: helpukrainenow.com. A phishing site domain may look like this: help ukrainewar.com.
Foundation is not Displayed in youcontrol.com.ua
There is another proven and quick way to check the authenticity of a charitable foundation: the counterparty verification service youcontrol.com.ua. Thanks to it you can clarify the status of a legal entity (whether it is in the process of reduction), the date of registration of the foundation, the legal form of organization, contacts, etc.
Reliable Funds: how to Find?
Checking the fund for purity and reliability was not an easy task even before the war. In recent months, it has become a real challange for Ukrainians suffering from fatigue and lack of internal resources.
There are two solutions to the problem. You either have to spend time monitoring the charitable sector on your own and find the right organization to donate to. Or donate to foundations that have already been vetted and meet the necessary security criteria.
The PRNEWS.IO team has prepared a list of charitable foundations that effectively support Ukrainian troops and Ukrainian people:
- The National Bank of Ukraine decided to open a special account to gather funds to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine: https://bank.gov.ua/ru/news/all/natsionalniy-bank-vidkriv-spetsrahunok-dlya-zboru-koshtiv - for the army.
- “Return Alive” Charity Foundation - https://savelife.in.ua.
- “Children's Voices” Charity Foundation - http://voices.org.ua/ru/donat.
- The People's Project crowdfunding platform - http://peoplesproject.com/en.
- List of resources and organizations to donate to @RazomForUkraine - https://linktr.ee/RazomForUkraine.
The Russia-Ukraine War: Information and Ways to Help - https://ukrainewar.carrd.co.