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‘Help Ukraine’ crypto scams on the rise; here’s how to spot them

‘Help Ukraine’ crypto scams on the rise; here’s how to spot them

‘Help Ukraine’ crypto scams on the rise; here’s how to spot them
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By CNBCTV18.com Mar 8, 2022 6:49 PM IST (Published)

Malicious entities have started hiding their scams under the veil of the ‘help Ukraine’ campaign. They are taking advantage of the goodwill of the people and scamming them of their cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency has quickly emerged as an unlikely yet highly useful source of funds for Ukraine. As the conflict with Russia intensifies, donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continue to pour in from across the world.

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It has helped the war-struck nation better cope with the situation, especially as traditional financial institutions have more or less ceased to operate. While the world sees this as a sign of solidarity and humanity, scammers see it as an opportunity to line their pockets.
Malicious entities have started hiding their scams under the veil of the ‘help Ukraine’ campaign. They are taking advantage of the goodwill of the people and scamming them of their cryptocurrency. Some scammers are even disguising themselves as prominent NGOs or Ukrainian government officials to gain the trust of people donating money.
Here’s everything you need to know about these scams and how to spot them.
How to spot the scams
An article by the tech outlet, Bleeping Computer, has warned people that scammers are using phishing websites, forum posts, and falsified emails to set a trap for people interested in donating money to Ukraine. These scams first came to light when the tech outlet noticed that these websites were using different wallet addresses from the ones provided by Ukrainian officials and NGOs.
One common scam that seems to be circulating is a phishing email that appears to be coming from the official UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or NPR domains.
Another well-known scam during this debacle involved scammers creating a fake cryptocurrency called the ‘world peace token’ while posing as Ukrainian government officials. Then the scammers promised to airdrop these tokens to the donors. The token was also listed on the Uniswap exchange, giving it credibility.
Cybersecurity firms like Malware Hunter Team reported that scammers also established fake ‘.org’ and ‘.com’ domains with URLs like “Ukrainewarsupport” and “Ukraine-Donate” to scam people.
The common theme of these scams is their play on emotions. They appeal to people’s sense of humanity, a ploy that is almost certain to work given the trying times we currently find ourselves in. Fortunately, avoiding these scams is very easy. All you have to do is verify that the wallet addresses provided are indeed the country’s official wallet addresses (which are available on Ukraine’s official Twitter handle).
The good news is that despite these scams, Ukraine has seen a swath of support from all over the world. Donations of Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and UkraineDAO have helped raise funds for the Ukrainian armed forces. In fact, the Ukrainian government have been able to amass more than $50 million in donations since they started their donation campaign on 26th February. They have been accepting crypto donations in Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDT.
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