UNESCO is deeply concerned that fraudsters are sending fabricated invoices in the name of UNESCO to our partners with false bank account information.
In order to protect our partners, the general public and UNESCO itself, we would like to offer the following advice:
Be alert to the fact that scams exist
When dealing with uninvited contacts from people or businesses, whether it's over the phone, by mail, email, in person or on a social networking site, always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Be careful of spoofing
Phone number displayed on incoming call or “From” field presented by your email client can be easily spoofed. Never trust them and be careful of disambiguation. Fraudsters often attempt to approach you with a fraudulent email address that looks very similar to the official domain: email@example.com(link sends e-mail) could be a valid email, firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) is not (note the two “s” in the domain name).
Take the time to check
The fraudsters generally request an urgent action and use a combination of authority (“it is an order to do this”), secrecy (“this project is still secret/confidential…”), valorization (“I count on you for your efficiency and discretion”) and pressure (“the success of the operation rests on your shoulders”) to convince to do the action. Take the time to think and check.
Respect standard working procedures
Be vigilant to any urgent or confidential request not respecting the standard working procedure. Procedures exist to avoid frauds.
Know who you're dealing with
If you have only ever met someone online or are unsure of the legitimacy of a business, take some time to do a bit more research. Do a Google image search on photos or search the internet for others who may have had dealings with them. If a message or email comes from a friend and it seems unusual or out of character for them, contact your friend directly to check that it was really them that sent it.
Do not click on links or attachments in emails without being sure of your contact
If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
Keep your personal details secure
It is recommended not to write down your passwords and pin numbers. Be very careful about how much personal information you share on social media sites. Scammers can use your information and pictures to create a fake identity or to target you with a scam.
Finally, if you are approached by entities with a non-UNESCO domain name, please do not respond to such deceptive communications and immediately report the incident to the UNESCO Secretaria.