COLORADO SPRINGS — The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns the public of scammers soliciting donations and other types of financial assistance for the Crisis in Ukraine.

According to the FBI, scammers are acting as Ukrainian entities needing humanitarian aid. They also develop fundraising efforts that accept monetary and cryptocurrency donations.

Scammers similarly have used past crises such as Colorado wildfires as opportunities to target members of the public with fraudulent donation schemes.

The public is advised to be suspicious of online communications claiming to be individuals affected by the conflict in Ukraine and seeking immediate financial assistance.

Here are a few tips provided by the FBI on how to protect yourself:

  • The Ukrainian Government and other private organizations maintain official donation mechanisms, so be cautious and verify information about entities purporting to solicit aid.
  • If an entity asks for donations to specific cryptocurrency addresses, be cautious, always carefully check if the addresses are legitimate, and compare the address alphanumeric characters to any known official addresses.
  • Do not communicate with or open texts, emails, attachments, or links from unknown individuals posing as Ukrainian entities in need of humanitarian aid.
  • Do not send payments to unknown individuals or organizations asking for financial assistance.
  • Best practices to verify charities include, but are not limited to, researching the charity online to see if there are news, reviews, or posts linking the charity to fraud; checking to see if the charity is registered with your state’s charity regulator, if available; and checking the Internal Revenue Service’s website to see if the charity is registered.

If you believe you have been a victim of a financial internet scam or a fraudulent scheme related to the Ukrainian crisis, the FBI encourages you to file a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complain Center here.

Include the following in the report if possible:

  • Identify information about the individuals or charity, including name, phone number, address, and email address.
  • Financial transaction information such as the date, type of payment, amount, account numbers involved, the name and address of the receiving financial institution, and receiving cryptocurrency addresses.
  • Describe your interaction with the individual, including how contact was initiated, such as the type of communication, purpose of the request for money, how you were told or instructed to make payment, what information you provided to the criminal actor
  • Any other details pertinent to your complaint.