AG warns of scams related to Ukraine relief efforts

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Many Kentuckians have donated to charities designed to help the people of Ukraine, but on Monday Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a warning to Kentuckians of possible scams related to those relief efforts, along with tips on how to avoid them.

“Russia’s unprovoked and deadly attack on Ukraine has sparked a surge of generosity from not only Kentuckians but from many across the globe,” Cameron said. “Scammers often follow what is in the news, and they capitalize on crises to take advantage of donors. Kentuckians looking to assist with Ukraine relief efforts should thoroughly research relief organizations before donating, to ensure your funds are supporting legitimate efforts.”

To avoid donating to a charity scam, the Attorney General’s office encourages Kentuckians to:

Research Charities Before Giving: Take time to research the charity or organization to make sure your donation goes where you want it to go. Visit the charity’s website and contact the organization with questions. Search for a charity rating by visiting the websites of consumer and charity watchdog organizations like Charity Navigator, https://www.charitynavigator.org/, Charity Watch, https://www.charitywatch.org/, or visit the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Guide at https://www.give.org/.

Be Wary of Crowdfunding and Social Media Fundraising Appeals: Review the platform’s policies regarding fees and the distribution of donated funds. Many crowdfunding sites do not vet individuals or organizations, so it is generally safest to give directly to someone you know personally or trust. To view a list of BBB accredited charities raising funds for Ukraine relief efforts, visit https://www.give.org/.

Avoid Sharing Personal Information Over the Phone: Do not share your social security number, credit card, debit card, passwords, or bank account information with anyone who solicits a contribution from you. A legitimate charity will not pressure you to donate immediately. Scam artists use this information to steal your identity and money. Contact a charity by using a website you know is trustworthy or look up their phone number and call them directly. It is safest to donate by check or credit card, rather than cash. Check your statements closely to make sure you’re charged only for what you agreed to donate.

You may report suspected charity scams to the Attorney General’s Office online at ag.ky.gov/scams or by calling his Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257.