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Fraud

Different types of fraud include confidence tricks, lottery fraud and advance-fee fraud (including so-called Nigerian Letters or 419 Fraud), as well as insurance fraud, tax avoidance, offshore investment scams, marriage fraud, pyramid schemes and  payment card fraud.

These crimes often have an international dimension and are committed through a variety of media, for instance by the Internet, telephone, fax and post.

Sophisticated social engineering techniques are carried out on the Internet to trick people into revealing personal data, banking details and passwords. One of these techniques is “phishing”, in which fraudsters create fake communications – such as emails, instant messages and pop up windows – that may appear to come from a legitimate source.

INTERPOL's activities

At INTERPOL, we are fighting fraud through several projects which aim to gather information, build up networks between law enforcement bodies and seek possible cooperation with the commercial sector, such as in a current private sector initiative against lottery scams.

Email fraud abusing the INTERPOL name

INTERPOL is aware of emails circulating on the Internet from fraudsters claiming to represent INTERPOL and asking for personal or financial information.

They may imply that they are trying to verify information, or protect you. They may also include a threat that you will be considered a criminal if you do not comply.

INTERPOL does not request personal information from a member of the public by email. Our work is always done through national police officers.

If you receive an email from someone claiming to represent INTERPOL, requesting personal information or bank account information, you should ignore it and treat it as spam.

You should not reply to the message, and you should not provide personal or financial information.

If you have provided information in relation to one of these messages, you should report it as a crime to your local police.