The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
This is to alert UNOPS personnel and the wider public of the risks of being targeted by operators of international scam schemes commonly known as "4-1-9" advanced fee scams (*).
How to protect yourself
While there are many versions of this general scheme, scammers target organizations, including UNOPS, in several ways. The following examples are not exhaustive:
- You receive a job offer with UNOPS, but are asked to pay a fee with the application for "induction and visa processing" or "travel”. UNOPS never charges a fee to apply for a job or after being selected for the post.
- In order to secure a purchase order or consulting contract with UNOPS, you are requested to pay a fee to an outside party. UNOPS does NOT charge a fee at any stage of its procurement process (supplier registration, bids submission or other fee), or for recruiting a consultant or an expert.
- A party promises you that UNOPS will fund or implement your project, but in order to do so, you need to provide personal details. Once you reply, you are requested to pay a fee. UNOPS does NOT charge a fee at any stage of a project.
- You receive an e-mail promising a percentage of a large amount of money for the use of your bank account. These emails often use the name of former or current senior officials of UNOPS or their relatives as senders. Once you respond, a request for money is made to help pay 'officials' in the release of the money to your account. UNOPS does NOT engage in this type of activity.
- Consultants, allegedly appointed by UNOPS, indicate that you have been recommended to receive a sizeable grant to set up a small-scale business at your location and to employ people with public funds. The consultants request you to provide your name and address together with your preferred bank in the country of your choice for them to open an account in your name and transfer the funds. UNOPS does NOT engage in this type of activity.
In various locations around the world, UNOPS has received such "invitations" from operators claiming to be working for UNOPS.
Financial loss and identity theft can result from providing personal details or the transfer of money to those issuing such correspondence. UNOPS is not responsible for any such loss or theft.
These types of scams are very difficult to investigate and there is little or no chance of you getting your money back or finding the individuals concerned.
The best ways to deal with these crimes are PREVENTION and PROTECTION.
Do not reply or release any of your personal details to these individuals under any circumstances.
- (*) This name emanates from the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, where the first instances of such scam schemes occurred.
What to do?
To protect against any loss via these scam schemes, the Internal Audit and Investigations Group of UNOPS offers the following information based on law enforcement advisories:
If you are already in contact with perpetrators or have already paid advanced fees, you should:
- save all received and sent messages;
- save all documents relating to transactions and remittances;
- do not agree to attend meetings where money is promised to be handed over to you;
- contact your local police force and follow their advice.
If you receive one of these scam messages
- do not reply to any of the messages;
- do not open attachments or click on links provided in the email;
- do not provide details of your bank accounts;
- do not offer details of your company or workplace;
- do not send or hand over any identity documents or educational certificates or letters with your personal or official letterheads and logos—not even copies of those documents.