Beware: Ukrainian War Crypto Donation Scams

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This is a reminder NOT to send Bitcoin or Cryptocurrencies to people or organizations you don’t know that are purporting to support a cause.

Whenever there’s an event of mass impact, hackers, scammers and thieves take advantage of the situation, and the war in Ukraine is no exception.

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted an outpouring of generosity in the US and across the globe. Reports of scammers claiming to be collecting funds for people caught up in the Ukraine war using email solicitations and fraudulent websites to defraud donors are becoming more frequent.

Note that cyber criminals will contact you via calls, text, email, or social media. If you have anyone older in your family, they are very susceptible to falling for these scams.

Today’s deepfake technology makes it easier than you’d believe in producing high-quality videos or audio clips of a public figure saying or doing something that never happened in real life.

Fraudsters won’t just play on your emotions to help others. They will appeal to your sense of patriotism too. Think twice if you hear from someone claiming to be an American soldier stuck in Ukraine.

As you encounter videos of Russian President Vladimir Putin and other political figures on social media or YouTube, keep your guard up. If the video is designed to make you angry or act in some way, it very well may be a disinformation campaign at work.

Remember, disinformation videos are designed to look natural. It’s not uncommon for these videos to use computer-generated image technology and paid actors.

Authorities around the world are urging people to not respond to suspicious emails and to avoid making donations by credit card, transferring cryptocurrency funds or sending gift voucher codes, such as for Google Play.

Here are some additional tips to help everyday citizens avoid cybercrime:

  • Keep your computers updated with the latest software.
  • Beware of phishing scams when using the internet.
  • Try to always use two-factor authorization when signing into online accounts for an extra layer of security.
  • Secure your mobile device by turning off Bluetooth and not automatically connecting to Wi-Fi.

For more information, please check out the White House 3/22/22 fact sheet:


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