Calls for generosity in connection with the war in Ukraine are numerous on social media. Fraud too. To make sure your money is being used wisely, go with reputable organizations.
A huge surge of solidarity arose in France and around the world after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th. Online pools, clothing collections, accepting refugees… There are many ways to help. But as with any crisis, such as the Notre Dame de Paris fire, some are taking advantage of this outburst of generosity to try and swindle Internet users.
Choose certified pots
Therefore, it is recommended to be careful when making a donation. To avoid scams, go for reputable sites (Leetchi, Le Pot commun, Helloasso, Gofundme, etc.) that have anti-scam teams. Some of them are registered with Orias (Unified Registry of Insurance, Banking and Finance Intermediaries), an entity administered by the General Treasury Department.
Before gifting, check that the recipient and creator of the kitten are well identified and that the description of the kitten inspires confidence. Some sites certify pots: then you can donate without risk. For those who do not, rules of caution are required. As with spam, messages rife with spelling or syntax errors should alert you. Check at the time of payment that the transaction is secure: the site address at the time of the transaction must begin with “https”. In this case, a small padlock is displayed in front of the address. Finally, check the fees charged by donation platforms.
Large organizations collect donations
In addition to crowdfunding sites, some organizations have launched their own campaigns. Therefore, the French Red Cross launched an appeal for donations to support the humanitarian assistance of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and support the affected population. Donation options are detailed on the organization’s website. UNICEF also raises funds to help Ukrainian children. The United Nations works through the Humanitarian Fund for Ukraine. Mention should also be made of (non-exhaustive) the World Food Program, which delivers food aid to people fleeing conflict, or the World Health Organization, which provides emergency medical assistance to people affected by this crisis in Ukraine and refugees from neighboring countries. . The French government has compiled a list of recognized organizations that help the population of Ukraine.
Cash donations are the most sought after
It is possible to make donations of essentials, medical equipment and medicines, but be careful, the needs are specific: check with the associations closest to you (many city halls list collection locations and times) for their requests. Due to the difficulties (logistics, cost, time) of delivering in-kind donations to Ukraine, as well as the generosity of Poles and Hungarians who have already donated a lot, many associations are advising to give preference to cash donations. They have several advantages: they can be used immediately in an emergency (and vice versa, they also allow you to act over time), they can cover certain needs and keep the local economy working. In-kind donations are useful for collecting products that are not available locally or in neighboring countries. That is why the association Aide médicale et charitatif France-Ukraine, established in 2014, specializes in sending medical equipment to Ukraine.
Beware of social media scams
The Numerama website analyzed many sponsored messages published since February 2022 on Facebook containing the terms “Ukraine” or “Ukrainians” and warning about various types of fraud. The first is that the seller pretends to be a Ukrainian craftsman or seller in order to collect orders. Numerama notes that the message, which appeared several times and was attributed to “Oksana”, a Ukrainian woman who “can no longer open his shop due to war and Russian attacks”was actually shipped from Asia.
Other ads promise to donate a portion of the profits generated from sales to associations. “While these listings are not necessarily fraudulent (you may indeed receive the yellow and blue Ukraine support bracelet you ordered), we may seriously doubt that the sellers will pay back the amounts they promised the associations,” writes our colleague, who also analyzed calls for fraudulent donations.