Unfortunately people sometimes receive fraudulent emails, letters or approaches from people or organisations pretending to be UNICEF – some examples from the recent past are included below.
If you’re in any doubt about the authenticity of a person claiming to represent UNICEF, please contact our Supporter Care Team or call them on 0300 330 5580 for clarification.
Suspicious emails redirecting to the UNICEF UK website
We have been alerted that false emails are being received by people which appear to come from known contacts (e.g. friends or family), but which contain a link that, if clicked, redirects them to a UNICEF website.
UNICEF UK are working alongside UNICEF globally to urgently investigate the reports we have been getting from people who have received such emails. We understand that recipients of such emails may think that UNICEF is employing intrusive and dishonest methods to direct people to our website. For the avoidance of doubt, UNICEF has no involvement at all with these emails.
We advise anyone whose email address has been used to send emails without their knowledge to change their passwords, if they have not done so already. Also, when you receive emails, be cautious of clicking on any links in them that you are not expecting, or which are out of character with what you would expect.
Bogus street or door-to-door collections
Our supporters and the Police have made us aware of some people in South Wales and elsewhere knocking on doors posing as UNICEF fundraisers. This follows previous reports in Manchester and Bolton of people falsely posing as UNICEF UK fundraisers around the town centre. We always encourage members of the public to remain vigilant. Our genuine fundraisers will always carry identification and wear a UNICEF branded uniform. If you suspect people are falsely claiming to fundraise for UNICEF UK you should not confront them, but instead contact your local police by phoning 101 or our Supporter Care team on 0300 330 5580.
We remain in contact with the Police on these matters and will report any further suspicious activity so that they can take the appropriate action.
Read more about how to tell if a UNICEF fundraiser is genuine
Appeals for financial help from people claiming to be UNICEF employees
We have reports from users of dating sites that people claiming to be UNICEF employees or consultants have asked them for money (for medical care, for a flight home, etc.). UNICEF provides support to all its staff members and consultants at all times, no matter the situation.Never send money or personal information (including your curriculum vitae) to anyone you don’t really know.Remember that UNICEF websites and email addresses all use the unicef.org domain, or a country domain containing “org” like m.unicef.org.uk.
Fraudulent job and scholorship offers and advertisements
mails currently in circulation offer “UNICEF financial scholarships” or UNICEF jobs (or internships) upon payment of an acceptance fee. UNICEF does not charge fees for job applications or participation in any of its scholarship/ internship programmes. All employment opportunities with UNICEF Country Offices or National Committees are posted on their official websites. You can browse current jobs at UNICEF UK on our website. Opportunities for employment at UNICEF worldwide are advertised here.
We have been alerted to a number of emails claiming to be from David Bull offering jobs at UNICEF in London. The emails contain a request to provide them with personal information and to send money by MoneyGram for a work permit, UK working visa and administration fees. Please be warned these emails are not genuinely from UNICEF. Please do not respond to their requests for personal information and do not send any money.
Our general advice is to be extremely alert to any unexpected emails or any job offers that appear to be suspicious, and if you are in any doubt then please contact our Supporter Care team by email or telephone +44 (0)300 330 5580 for clarification. You can also report fraud or or financially motivated internet crimes to the UK Police’s Action Fraud centre.
Fraudulent job offer emails
We have been alerted to a number of emails claiming to be from Anthony Lakes (sic) offering jobs at UNICEF. The emails contain a request to provide them with personal information and to send money by Western Union for a work permit, UK working visa and other fees – we strongly advise that you do not respond to their requests for personal information and do not send any money.
Our general advice is to be extremely alert to any unexpected emails, and if you are in any doubt then please contact our Supporter Care team or telephone +44 (0)300 330 5580 for clarification.
Fraudulent standing orders
It has been brought to our attention that some members of the public have noticed payments out of their bank accounts to a bank account with sort code 20-82-94 and account number ending -412, and which uses the UNICEF name. Their banks have been sent standing order forms that look like the ones to the right. These standing orders have not been requested by UNICEF UK, and any payments made to this beneficiary are of a fraudulent nature. (You can see an image of the fraudulent standing order form above.)
If you identify any large unexpected payments in your bank account, or you receive a copy of a standing order form like the ones shown on the right, please contact your bank immediately to report it as fraudulent activity. We would also be grateful if you could inform us by contacting our Supporter Care team by email or by telephone on +44 (0)300 330 5580.
We have already brought this fraudulent activity to the attention of the police, the banks involved and to the Charity Commission.
Clothing collection flyer
It has been brought to our attention that a leaflet is being distributed through letterboxes in London and Manchester claiming to be from the company Mainland Collections Limited, suggesting it is an ‘official UNICEF partner’ and that UNICEF benefits from its collections. It includes the UNICEF name and logo.
UNICEF has no relationship at all with this company and we are currently investigating the situation in order to stop the misuse of our name and logo in this way.
Should you receive any leaflets, we would be grateful if you could inform us by contacting Supporter Care by email or on +44(0)300 330 5580.
John Anthony Bureau
It has come to our attention that the fraudulent website John Anthony Bureau (http://www.creditcardbadcredit.co.uk), which advertises help getting a new credit card, is claiming it is associated with Unicef.
Unicef is in no way affiliated with this website. We strongly advise members of the public to be wary of any websites claiming to be connected with UNICEF which ask for your personal and/or banking details. If you are in doubt please contact Supporter Care or +44 (0)300 330 5580 for clarification.
Other suspicious emails
It has come to our attention that scam emails alleging to be from or associated with UNICEF UK are in circulation. Some of the most recent fraudulent emails ask for hotel and guest house bookings and claim to be reserving accommodation for the private holiday use of UNICEF UK staff. They allege that UNICEF’s finance department will settle the bill and then send bogus foreign currency cheques that will not be honoured by your bank. Other examples ask the recipient to assist in siphoning money from UNICEF programmes in return for a percentage of the illegal profits.
These emails are not genuine and UNICEF is in no way connected with them – the people behind them are not employees of UNICEF UK, they are not acting on our behalf and UNICEF UK would never cover the costs of staff holidays in the way claimed by these people, nor employ people who would act in such a way. Unfortunately we are being exploited and so are you.
UNICEF UK would like to urge you to be wary of any suspicious emails (or other communications) claiming to originate from someone connected with UNICEF, especially when they are not from an official UNICEF email account and are asking you to engage in international money transfers.
Please verify the authenticity of any transaction before sending a response and certainly before parting with any money. If you are in any doubt, please contact Supporter Care or +44 (0)300 330 5580 for clarification.
If you have been approached in a similar fashion, please contact your local police department with full details of the correspondence that has been received. They may be able to find out who is involved. If you have been a victim of these types of fraud, the only chance of you being able to recover any loss will be if the police are able to bring the perpetrators to justice.