Fraudsters Trying To Take Advantage Of The Ukraine Crisis To Con Money

Fraudsters Trying To Take Advantage Of The Ukraine Crisis To Con Money
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Fraudsters are impersonating victims of the Ukraine conflict in their efforts to defraud well-intentioned individuals in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Con-artists are also taking advantage of people’s desire to aid the victims of the war by setting up fake charity websites and tricking them into donating money.

According to one analyst, the scam was “evil,” but not surprising given the conflict’s profile.

In the following weeks, the prevalence of such scams is projected to rise.

“As with every global crisis, we going to see a sharp increase in these scams,” said fraud protection expert Charlie Shakeshaft.

As scammers aim to take advantage of the circumstances, three specific types of scams have begun to develop, he said.

The first one he pointed out is a phony donation request. Fraudsters bombard consumers with emails and SMS messages urging them to donate money to war victims. A link to a fake charity website is included in the communications.

The messages might be focused on a large number of people currently on so-called suckers lists, who have been duped in the past or who are likely to be targeted by fraudsters.

The second scam involves scammers posing as war victims and requesting money through emotional posts.

Finally, there is a twist of a popular scam in which a person poses as a Ukrainian businessman attempting to transport money out of the country and requiring the use of a bank account outside of Ukraine. In actuality, it’s a con artist aiming to steal the bank account information of the target and drain their funds.

Separately, HMRC is reminding people to be on the lookout for frauds as the deadline for self-assessment tax returns approaches.

In the previous year, the UK’s tax office received 570,000 allegations of scam attempts, according to the tax authority.

Texts, emails, and phone calls promising a “refund” or demanding unpaid tax are the most common at this time of year, with victims assuming the contact is about their self-assessment return.

According to HMRC, phone calls have been more of a problem recently, with 3,995 incidents re[poin January compared to 425 in April 2020.

“If someone contacts you saying they are from HMRC, wanting you to transfer money or give personal information, be on your guard,” advised Myrtle Lloyd, HMRC’s director-general for customer services.

She advised the general population in the UK and other Western countries not to be in a rush and to conduct a thorough check of the information provided on the government’s website for helping out the victims and refugees of the Ukraine war. 

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