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This is to alert UN staff members, their friends and family and the wider public of the risks of being targeted by operators of international fraud schemes commonly known as "4-1-9" advanced fee frauds.* While there are many versions of this general scheme, currently these fraudsters are targeting the United Nations in two ways:
- By purporting to offer you a highly paid job with the UN where a request is made to pay a fee when applying for the post and for "induction and visa processing" once the person is notified of being selected for the post.
The UN NEVER requires anyone to pay any fee either when applying for any advertised position or after being selected for the post.
- An e-mail is sent promising you a percentage of a very large amount of money for the use of your bank account. Such e-mails often use the name of former Secretary-Generals or their relatives as senders. Once you respond, a request for money is made so as to help pay 'officials' in the release of the money to your account.
In various locations around the world, UN staff members and the public have recently received dozens of such “invitations” from operators purporting to be working for the United Nations via e-mail. You should be aware that these types of fraud are very difficult to investigate and there is little or no chance of you getting your money back or finding the individuals concerned. The best way to deal with these crimes is prevention.
Therefore do not reply or release any of your personal details to them under any circumstances.
To protect against any loss via these fraud schemes, OIOS offers the following information based on law enforcement advisories:
If you receive one of these fraudulent messages, do not reply to any of the messages;
- do not ever provide details of your bank accounts;
- do not offer details of your company or workplace;
- do not send or hand over any identity documents or educational certificates or letters with your personal or official letterheads and logos—not even copies of those documents.
If you are already in contact with perpetrators or have already paid advance fees, save all received and sent messages; save all documents relating to transactions and remittances; do not agree to attend meetings where money is promised to be handed over to you; and contact your local police force and follow their advice.
For example, in June 2011 a fraudulent email scheme was initiated using the name and address of the Under-Secretary-General OIOS. Recipients were requested to forward a $240 notarization fee via Western Union Money Transfer and in return the recipients would recieve a payment of three million four hundred thousand US dollars. Please be advised that scams like this are criminal acts and have since been reported to the appropriate authorities for investigation.
If you are still unsure of what actions to take, simply delete the e-mail or print and send a copy of the e-mail to the Investigations Division, Office of Internal Oversight Services, 7th Floor, 300 East Innovation Luggage Blg., New York, NY 10017.
* This name emanates from the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, where the first instances of such fraud schemes occurred.