Fraudsters in Poland: popular schemes and how Ukrainians can protect themselves abroad
In Poland, fraudsters collect personal data of refugees from Ukraine on behalf of the authorities and offer to receive non-existent payments. Learn how to protect yourself and where to get information about proven ways to get financial help
Refugees are often the target of fraudsters, because they are in a vulnerable emotional state. It is easy to manipulate such people and obtain the necessary data or even funds. We are talking about popular fraudulent schemes.
We also encourage you to check information only on reliable resources! The VisitUkraine website publishes information only about proven methods of obtaining financial assistance, both in Poland and in other countries.
We urge you to be vigilant and check the information you see on the Internet or social networks. It is extremely important to observe cyber hygiene and detect the threat in time.
What fraudulent schemes are popular abroad?
Scheme 1: Collection of personal data
At the beginning of 2023, an announcement about the collection of information on behalf of the Department for Foreigners was noticed in Poland. Allegedly, such information is needed to help the Ukrainian diplomatic mission. Interestingly, Polish citizens are also asked to provide information about Ukrainians they know.
Fraudsters also communicate with Poles via e-mail. Citizens of Poland receive e-mails demanding to provide information about refugees from Ukraine who rent housing from them. In order to finally assure the recipient of its authenticity, they indicate the address of the Embassy of Ukraine, where to send the data, and threaten with fines for ignoring the letter.
The Department of Foreign Affairs was quick to comment and stated that it does not collect data on Ukrainians. Also, representatives of the department urge to ignore such messages and not to provide information in any case.
Scheme 2: Fraud with PESEL
Ukrainians in Poland often become victims of fraudsters when they are asked to provide their own PESEL number. According to a survey by ChronPESEL.pl and the State Debt Register, 27% of surveyed Ukrainians will name their PESEL number. For our compatriots, such a request does not appear to be a fraudulent scheme.
Attention! Never share your details when you receive calls claiming to be from banks, electricity suppliers or internet service providers.
Scheme 3: Fake financial assistance
Currently, phishing sites imitating Ukrainian banks are actively operating. Fraudsters offer Ukrainians to receive help from foreign partners of Ukraine.
How dangerous are such sites? When entering the site, users are asked to enter their personal data - thus they end up in the hands of criminals.
How not to fall into the trap?
• Trust only reliable resources or official sites;
• Never enter your bank card details on unknown sites;
• If you entered the data and then realized your mistake, immediately block the card.
Scheme 4: Mobile fraudsters
Another popular scheme is calls on behalf of a mobile operator. The potential victim must enter the code sent to the phone, after which the fraudster gains access to the office on the website of the mobile operator - thus personal information and the possibility of reissuing the SIM card become available.
Attention! There should be no reason to disclose your data. Keep in mind that scammers can justify the call with the need to check the connection, switching to 4G, etc.
As a reminder, Ukrainians who found refuge in Poland after February 24, 2022 can legally work in the country. What you need to remember when hiring, so as not to fall into the hands of fraudsters and unscrupulous employers, read at the link.
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