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.

25 November 2015

Experts gather at INTERPOL to identify emerging social engineering fraud techniques

18 November 2015

Indian prime minister and INTERPOL Chief discuss cooperation

18 November 2015

Global asset recovery cooperation focus of INTERPOL-StAR conference

06 November 2015

More than 130 detained in global action tackling airline ticket fraud

02 October 2015

Identifying fake documents focus of INTERPOL and Frontex workshop

21 September 2015

INTERPOL training in Senegal tackles corruption and financial crimes

06 August 2015

Corruption and financial crime focus of INTERPOL training in Botswana

04 August 2015

Illegal online gambling in Asia targeted in INTERPOL operation

02 July 2015

Forensic document examination focus of Balkans INTERPOL training

29 June 2015

Global action against online air ticket fraudsters sees 130 detained

05 June 2015

INTERPOL group to field test new ink dating protocols to aid fraud and forgery investigations

02 June 2015

UK initiative underlines role of due diligence in securing official documents

19 May 2015

INTERPOL meeting in Bucharest aims to set the course for European security

30 January 2015

Estonia hosts INTERPOL workshop on anti-corruption and financial crimes

28 November 2014

Global action against online fraud in the airline sector nets 118 arrests

16 September 2014

International cooperation against counterfeit currency and travel documents focus of INTERPOL meeting

22 May 2014

INTERPOL meeting puts document security under the microscope

30 April 2014

Criminal network involved in payment card fraud dismantled with INTERPOL support

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.