Fake Government Agency Scams - How to Recognize Them and What to Do

Fake Non-Government Organizations and International Agencies - How to Recognize Them and How to Report Them

If you received an email, letter or phone call from a some international organization, such as the United Nations saying you are owed compensation or a grant and after you reply they instruct you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, or follow a link and enter information - don't believe it!  These organizations would never instruct anyone to use those methods to transfer money!

There are many scams circulating right now, including those using the name of the United Nations.

Here are some examples of these scams.

How to Recognize a Fake NGO:

Let's look at some actual situations, experiences and in some cases, emails people received and see how we can spot that they are scams.

Sample International Organization and Agency Scams


If you receive a call from this number or any group that claims to represent an organization, take down their information, including the contact's name, phone number, etc. Do NOT give them any personal or financial information, especially not a credit card, checking or bank account number, passport number, etc.

Next, look up the direct phone or email address for the person or party they claim to represent and call them , as we did.  Ask them if this group represents them.  In some cases, they may well be legitimate, but you won't know if you don't check on them first.

And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!

How to Report a Fraudulent Organization or Business Proposal

In the United States contact:

U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Room 942
Washington, DC 20223

Phone: (202) 4355850

Fax: (202) 4355031

Or contact the local U.S. Secret Service Field Office.


Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.

For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.



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