RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As the war in Ukraine rages, criminals are trying to capitalize on that human tragedy with appeals for fake charities, or offering you get rich quick schemes tied to refugees who’ve escaped the country — if you’re willing to help.

These criminals like to play on your emotions and it’s important not to let your heart overrule your brain when it comes to such schemes.

The latest scams are variations on older cons just updated for the current events in Ukraine.

The images coming from Ukraine are horrendous and tug at your heartstrings.

They make you feel compassion to give what you can to help civilians who’ve been impacted, but scammers see it as a way to use your generosity against you.

One email that landed in CBS 17 Consumer Reporter Steve Sbraccia’s inbox claims that UNICEF and the British Bank Halifax have released $76 million in charity funds and want to know if you’ll be willing to help distribute that money.

All they want you to do is click on a link to acknowledge your willingness to help.

“If someone asks you to click on a link or attachment, don’t do it,” said cybersecurity expert Adam Levin.

The email’s poor grammar and request for Sbraccia’s identity raised red flags, so he checked first checked with Halifax Bank.

Sure enough, a bank spokesperson said it was a scam.

Since they aren’t asking for money in that email, CBS 17 wanted to know what they were after.

“They could be looking to put malware on your computer which will turn your computer into a transmitter so every time you log in, you’ll send info to the hackers,” said Levin. “Or they could put ransomware on your computer and that’s even a bigger nightmare.”

The other scam involves a man who claims he left Ukraine with “$40 million U.S. dollars” and needs a “trustworthy, honest and God-fearing person to help invest his funds in lucrative business opportunities.”

In researching that message, Sbraccia found the email address was hijacked from a legitimate Gmail account.

It is also a variation on many similar “money giveaway” emails.

It asks you to reply to a special email address from the scammer’s lawyer who will help set up the transaction.

“You’re dealing with scammers who are offshore and are operating in Europe or Asia,” said Levin. “They are either operating with the blessing of the government or the government looks the other way, or the government has no relationship with the United States and U.S. law enforcement.”

If you send these criminals money, it’s going to be lost forever and if they steal your identity, you’re going to have a hard time recovering from it.

There are ways to help victims of the conflict, and you can do it safely.

Sbraccia has done the research and has come up with 30 charities that include medical services, long-term assistance, food and emergency housing which are already verified as legit by the website Charity Navigator.