TAMPA (WFLA) – As donations pour into Ukraine, consumer protection experts urge people to keep their eyes open for scammers.

Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Expert Eric Olsen says criminals use tragic events such as the Russian invasion to take advantage of people wanting to help.

“There are going to be people that try to approach you, try to get in contact with you, and they want to take your money,” Olsen said.

Several groups claim to collect donations for Ukrainian refugees but not all of them are legitimate. Olsen encourages donors to always double-check the group’s credibility through research.

Donors in Florida can check if a charity is legitimate on the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services website.

In Tampa, The Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church is one legitimate place to donate. The church is aiding through a partnership with a Protestant seminary in Poland.

“Working on housing, receiving families, providing food for them and shelter teaching them new languages not only the children and mothers but also the fathers,” Pastor John Debevoise said.



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