23-03-2022 15:00

Donation scams target people’s generosity

Phishing attempts are often increasing during humanitarian crises. Right now many fraudsters will try to exploit the war in Ukraine for phishing or fake fundraisings. Get our expert’s advice on how to avoid donation scams.
Fraud expert Nordea Annukka Multanen
Nordea fraud expert Annukka Multanen.

“Scammers are targeting people’s willingness to help the victims of the war. It’s often done in a very professional way. Today’s scammers are very good at imitating websites and getting inquiries to look real,” says Annukka Multanen, Nordea’s expert in fraud.

Donation scams can be in the form of fake social media posts, phone calls, e-mails, text messages or websites mimicking fundraising activities, asking you to fill in your card credentials or online access codes, she explains.

“Fraudsters try their best to capitalise on the anxiety, fear and other emotions we deal with during uncertain times by creating a sense of urgency to take immediate action. They might, for example, send e-mails asking for donations to help the people of Ukraine or support the Ukrainian army or share links to these donations on social media.”

Annukka Multanen’s tips on how to protect yourself

  1. Question: examine all unexpected and unknown e-mails, phone calls, text messages etc and always look out for the following:

    • Strange headings calling for action
    • E-mails with unusual e-mail addresses
    • Unusually poor language, bad spelling and grammatical errors
    • Strange links and attachments
    • Signs of urgency, authority and promises of personal gain.
  2. Pause: avoid clicking on links and attachments in messages and always check the spelling of URLs in e-mail links before clicking or entering sensitive information.
  3. Consider: if something looks too good to be true, it is most likely a scam attempt.
  4. Remember: never give out sensitive information via links in social media, text messages or e-mails.
  5. Share: talk about the risk with your friends and family and share only reliable links and organisations with your own network.
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