A wave of scams related to donation campaigns for the relief effort in Ukraine have been uncovered in recent weeks.
This has prompted many companies to issue warnings to cryptocurrency holders to verify who they are sending funds to. Websites with fake addresses or viruses are being reported almost daily by various anti-virus software companies.
These scams appear in many different forms. Some scammers have created fake tokens with names like ‘STOPWAR’ and ‘WORLD’, which are said to help those affected by the conflict but end up being rug pulled.
Other scammers have created fake airdrop sites in which an address was posted for token and NFT donations but all funds received are stolen.
These scams started when Ukraine posted their own cryptocurrency addresses on their Twitter for donations. The number of scams was so significant that the Ukraine government took to Twitter to warn users of potential false donation programs.
Malware has also played a part in stealing potential donations. Some news agencies have posted the cryptocurrency address of a donation campaign only to have the address changed by malware.
This type of malicious software will detect if an address has been copied to the clipboard and change the value when it is pasted. This results in a fake address being posted on news articles around the web.
With every major disaster and conflict there are a growing number of malicious groups which look to steal funds meant for donation towards a cause. With the global scale of cryptocurrency, these scams have been incredible in number.
There is no official number on how much has been stolen through fraudulent campaigns, but every scammer’s address has at least a couple of transactions ranging from $10 to $1000. These funds could help rebuild areas affected by this conflict and help those who have been displaced.
If you wish to donate cryptocurrency to any cause, be sure to only use addresses posted by the company themselves. Do not trust emails, random people who message you or newsletters that include addresses.
When in doubt, reach out to the verified account of the campaign directly and ensure you are sending funds to the correct place.