Beware: Russia-Ukraine War Scams Rising

Due to the Russian and Ukraine war, criminals are taking advantage of the situation and sending scams through email, text messages, phone calls, and Social Media and they are hoping you fall for it, Kim Komando of reported.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict is nearly 6,000 miles from our border, but it’s likely already affecting you here at home such as rising gas prices and your 401K retirement.

Kim Komando reported:

Whenever there’s an event of mass impact, hackers, scammers, and thieves take advantage of the situation.

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Here’s a list of scams we can expect to see as the Russia-Ukraine war heats up.

Note that scammers 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. Please share this post with them on your social media or email it with a link.

  1. Help, help, I’m stuck here

Here’s an all-too-common trope: A scammer pretends to a family member or friend, claiming to be stuck somewhere and in need of money. One of the most common examples of this is the “grandparent scam,” in which a thief impersonates an older person’s grandchild and claims to be saddled with an expensive repair bill or even stuck in jail.

In this case, you may hear from a close contact who says they are stuck in the Ukraine or Russia. Maybe they need money for a plane ticket out or claim to have lost their passport. They’ll raise the stakes, too, telling you they got robbed or all the banks are closed.

The scariest part is how easy it is to manipulate photos to back this up. A clever criminal can easily show your loved one in the Ukraine or Russia to make you believe it. Always check in with your loved one through another means of communication. For example, if they are texting, send an email or, better yet, give them a call.

  1. We need your support now more than ever

In times of crisis, we turn to others for help or step up to assist. You need to be extra vigilant about donating money to GoFundMe pages or other relief efforts right now. Scammers use our kindest instincts against us to steal money through fake aid campaigns.

If you are donating money through an organization like the American Red Cross, for example, be sure you’re on the actual Red Cross site and not a cleverly-disguised phishing site. It’s easy to copy the look of a website and steal official logos. The real tip-off is the URL. Don’t rely on a link you received from someone or clicked on social media; navigate to the official website yourself.

  1. But it looks and sounds SO real

Today’s deep-fake 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.

As you encounter videos of 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 CGI technology and paid actors.



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Fmr. Sgt, USAF Intelligence, NSA/DOD; Studied Cryptology at Community College of the Air Force

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