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DA warns of fraud in name of helping Ukraine

As the world watches the images from Ukraine in horror as entire cities are devastated, the urge to step up and do something to help is widespread.

And there’s no easier way to help than donating money that will be used to aid the millions of people displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of the sovereign country.

But according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, making sure that the money donated is actually being used for the purposes claimed by the organization is one of the challenges that many people are currently facing – navigating a minefield replete with unscrupulous scammers looking to make money off of the misery of others.

“The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office continues to keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts,” the office wrote in a release warning about possible scams. “We understand there are numerous relief efforts in place to support the Ukrainian people, but please be vigilant in what organization and how you donate!”

Because opportunistic scammers are nothing new, the district attorney’s office has recommendations that are almost universal in their application for those who are looking to use their hard-earned money to help others.

Some of those tips include:

*Checking out the organization on Google to see if there are any reports of “scams” or complaints from others that feel like they have been taken advantage.

*Slowing down to do research before donating through a social media link.

*Finding out in advance how the money will be spent and requesting a breakdown of how much of the money will be applied towards the program being advertised and how much will go towards “fees” associated with administering the program.

*Seeking only reputable charities – not every request to donate money is legitimate when it’s shared on social media. The ease of which links can be shared across platforms makes it a prime target for scammers looking to make money off the misery of others.

Those seeking additional information about a charity’s legitimacy are urged to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s charity page at Additional tips that could help protect your donation and your private information can be found by visiting the website of the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.