Scammers prey on people donating to Ukraine

[anvplayer video=”5097747″ station=”998132″]

Scammers are preying on New Yorkers’ generosity toward Ukrainian refugees.

Gov. Kathy Hochul warned Tuesday of increasing threats to donors online, with some fraudsters setting up fake charities to steal money and personal information.

NewsChannel 13 asked an expert with GreyCastle Security in Troy how to protect yourself.

Vice President and Co-founder Mike Stamas says it’s important to validate where you’re sending money. Donors should exit an email or phone call and verify that the organization is legitimate.

"’Donate now’ or ‘click here to donate,’ is probably not great advice, so if it is a cause you feel like you want to donate to, you want to validate that cause. So get out of that phone call, get out of that email that may have solicited you, and look up that organization independently," Stamas said.

The most common scam his clients see is a phone call—it sounds urgent and asks for money and information quickly. However, he says scams can also be hidden in web links asking for donations.

"If there’s any at all concern you have, maybe it’s just because you’ve got that healthy paranoia, or you’re just not sure, the best course of action would be to assume that link isn’t safe and identify another way to pursue that organization," he advised.

The White House is also urging U.S. businesses to take added precautions due to intelligence that Russia could target American companies.