As the Ukraine conflict continues, many people are showing their support by making charitable donations to those affected. However, scammers are taking advantage of this and the number of Ukraine-related phishing campaigns and charity scams is on the up.
Data from email security company Tessian shows that the number of new domains registered that contain the word “Ukraine” has increased by 210% this year.
In addition to this, the scams are becoming more sophisticated and harder to spot. For example, earlier scams used domain names like “supportukraine[dot]services,” but now they’re impersonating charities like UNICEF, or using other types of scams.
Types of scams to look out for
Scams are becoming more difficult to spot. Spelling and grammar mistakes and requests for gift cards are known giveaways, but here are some other things to look out for:
Airbnb scam listings
After the invasion of Ukraine, some people started booking Airbnb properties in locations in the country to get money directly to Ukrainian people’s bank accounts.
However, scammers have exploited this and, due to ghost listings, Airbnb has cracked down on this. Anyone wanting to give money via the Airbnb network is now advised to check the listing carefully to make sure it is established and not a duplicate.
Websites with “Ukraine in the URL
Anyone can register a domain name with any variation of words. This means that people should be careful of fake URLs that contain “Ukraine”, as they could be fake.
Social media groups
Another common scam to look out for is Facebook groups relating to helping Ukraine. Some of these groups have thousands of members, but it’s still important to be skeptical and check any charities first before donating money.
Asking for cryptocurrency donations
Some charities do accept donations in cryptocurrencies. However, if you get an email or notice a social media post asking for cryptocurrency donations, it’s likely to be a scam.
How to avoid online scams
To avoid online scams, it’s important to stay vigilant and check any websites or charities before donating money or giving your personal details.