Avoid fraud: how to protect yourself

UNICEF is deeply concerned about the fraudulent use of our name and logo by unethical individuals who deliberately abuse the trust of UNICEF supporters worldwide. Following are details on how fraud is perpetrated — and how to help protect both UNICEF and yourself from its potentially serious consequences.

Fraudulent offers

We have received reports that imposters may now be using UNICEF’s name — and our hard–earned credibility — to solicit members of the public via websites, emails and phone calls.

These abuses have been brought to the attention of UNICEF’s legal department. We are alerting the public as well, in an effort to ensure that innocent victims are not lured into providing their personal contact details.

Please be advised that websites, emails and phone calls offering jobs or prizes on behalf of UNICEF are fabricated and fraudulent. Only UNICEF and its 37 national committees are authorised to send communications or appeals to the public in UNICEF’s name.

Beware of phishing

With heightened media attention regarding the theft of personal data, many consumers — as well as supporters of humanitarian organisations like UNICEF — are concerned about the privacy and integrity of their personal data.

That’s why it is important to be aware of fraudulent Internet correspondence, also known as phishing.

Phishing is a type of fraud in which email messages, instant messages and websites are used to deceive individuals into providing confidential, personal information. The term relates to the idea that people will take the bait and disclose personal information, which can be used for credit card fraud and other serious violations of privacy.

Phishing emails generally appear to be sent from legitimate organisations, asking users to either reply or link to a web page to update their personal information. They sometimes contain an organisational logo and even a physical address, but the web address, or URL, does not match that of the legitimate organisation.

Don’t get hooked

Among the data typically requested by phishers are the user’s name and address; Social Security number; account numbers and passwords; and bank account and credit card information — sometimes even the account holder’s mother’s maiden name or other private information used for security purposes.

Here are some measures you can take to avoid getting hooked by a phishing scheme:

  • Be alert to any unexpected email, instant message, voicemail or fax that claims to be from a bank, credit card company, online service or charitable organisation with which you have an account or membership.
  • If you do receive such a message, call the appropriate customer or donor service number (but not any number provided in the message) and verify whether it is legitimate or not.
  • Do not respond to any email, phone or fax instructions that prompt you to divulge your personal information.
  • Do not click on any links in a suspicious email; clicking on such a link may cause the download of key-logging or spyware programmes onto your computer.
  • Regularly log on to your online banking, credit card or other accounts and reconcile your statement balances to ensure that all transactions are legitimate.
  • Use up–to–date anti–virus software — including spam filters and even anti–phishing programmes, which are available to help screen out potential phishers on websites and emails.

Donating to UNICEF

As a supporter of UNICEF, your heart is certainly in the right place, so make sure your contribution to our programmes and projects will be too!

See the previous page for more details on how to contact the Turkish National Committee for UNICEF and make a secure donation.

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