FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX 56) — Kentuckians are known for their generosity when it comes to helping those in need. Sadly, scammers are known for taking advantage of it.
With so many miles between the U.S. and Ukraine, monetary donations are preferable to items like food, clothing, and medicine.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued a warning on Monday about possible scams related to Ukraine relief efforts.
“Russia’s unprovoked and deadly attack on Ukraine has sparked a surge of generosity from not only Kentuckians but from many across the globe,” said Cameron.
Leaders with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommend doing your research before making a donation.
“When donating to a charity, the Better Business Bureau advises people to check out that charity at Give.org,” said Heather Clary, BBB director of communications. “That’s an excellent source for you to go to, no matter where you see the name of the charity, to find out if it’s somebody you want to donate your money to.”
Clary said the site evaluates charitable organizations as far as what they do with their money, how they are run, and how they help the group the organizations say they’re going to help.
“Many of the refugees from the situation have gone to neighboring countries. That opens up a whole new area of more relief efforts needed so you may want to consider what’s going on in those surrounding areas that also could use your money to help these people,” said Clary.
Other tips the attorney general’s office shared include:
- 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 to directly to someone you know personally or trust.
- 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 make a donation 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.
Additionally, Kentuckians are asked to report suspected scams to the attorney general’s office by visiting ag.ky.gov/scams or calling the consumer protection hotline at 888-432-9257.