How to avoid scams and fraudulent job offers
We are aware that there have been instances of scams in form of fake donation pages or fraudulent job and partnership offers, purporting to come from UNHCR.
UNHCR does not charge money or any kind of fee at any stage of a registration or recruitment process (this includes applications, interviews, meetings, travelling, processing, administration, service and training).
UNHCR will never ask for your username or password to access safety information.
UNHCR always uses secured websites for donation pages.
UNHCR will never send email attachments you didn’t ask for.
UNHCR will never charge money to register for a conference or reserve a hotel
Many of these schemes consist of an alleged offer of employment or contract with UNHCR, usually overseas, in return for the payment of fees, hotel bookings, or providing personal information or bank details. These fraudulent offers and emails, as well as the message they claim to promote, are not in any way associated with UNHCR, nor with any of its employees. Such messages are scams and phishing emails.
Scammers regularly try to take advantage of the plight of people forced to flee by asking for money through fake online donation pages. Those pages look and speak like UNHCR and claim to support refugees, migrants and other people in urgent need. But money donated through such pages lands in the hand of scammers.
It can be difficult to judge if a donation page is real or fake. Here are a few good tips:
- Look at the web address in your browser address bar. Donation pages from UNHCR will always have https:// at the beginning of the address, meaning they offer a secured connection.
For example: https://donate.unhcr.org/
If you see a donation page starting with http:// (without the 's' after the 'p') it is a fake page.
- Look out for incorrect grammar. If the site contains spelling mistakes, broken or stilted English, it might not be an official UNHCR site.
- If you have doubts whether a donation page is official or not, do not donate on that page. Instead, leave that page and go to an official UNHCR website. All donation options on the official UNHCR website are always legitimate.
To visit an official UNHCR website:
Global English website: https://www.unhcr.org
Global French website: https://www.unhcr.org/fr
Global Spanish website: https://www.acnur.org
Global Arabic website: https://www.unhcr.org/ar
How to know if a job or partnership offer is fraudulent?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to spot if correspondence is fraudulent because such communication may appear legitimate: they may feature a UNHCR logo; they may appear to originate from an official-looking email address or website; they may be sent by individuals purporting to represent UNHCR or an entity that includes the word UNHCR in its name.
Please do your due diligence and use good judgment and common sense. Most official communication from UNHCR will come from emails ending in @unhcr.org Any alteration to this email ending, even just so slightly, are likely to be fraudulent and require careful attention.
Where to find genuine UNHCR job offers?
What to do if you have already sent money to a scammer, or shared personal or sensitive information?
Unfortunately, you must assume that money sent to a scammer is gone. These people are professional criminals and will presumably have your funds moved offshore before you even suspect a problem. UNHCR has no connection with them and cannot take accountability for anything they do.
Nevertheless, you might wish to consider taking the following steps:
- In cases of financial loss, directly liaise with the financial institution or bank involved in the transaction.
- If you have shared sensitive information such as username or password, consider changing them immediately.
- Report fraud to relevant national authorities (i.e. police) and/or international cybercrime authorities (e.g. Interpol). Many countries have online fraud reporting systems in place through which such reports can be submitted at any time and from any location, also anonymously.