Information about fraudulent emails and communications
It has come to our attention that scam emails alleging to be from or associated with UNICEF Ireland are in circulation. Some of the most recent fraudulent emails ask for hotel and guest house bookings and claim to be reserving accommodation for the private holiday use of UNICEF staff.
They allege that UNICEF's finance department will settle the bill and then send bogus foreign currency cheques that will not be honoured by your bank. Other examples ask the recipient to assist in siphoning money from UNICEF programmes in return for a percentage of the illegal profits.
These emails are not genuine and UNICEF is in no way connected with them – the people behind them are not employees of UNICEF Ireland, they are not acting on our behalf and UNICEF Ireland would never cover the costs of staff holidays in the way claimed by these people, nor employ people who would act in such a way.
Unfortunately we are being exploited and so are you.
Other examples that have come to our attention recently are people posing as UNICEF staff on internet dating sites, who will attempt to forge a relationship with you over a period of time and then try to get you to send them money directly.
UNICEF Ireland would like to urge you to be wary of any suspicious emails and other communications claiming to originate from someone connected with UNICEF, especially when they are not from an official UNICEF email account and are asking you to engage in international money transfers.
A recent example that has been physically posted through people's letterboxes claims to notify the recipient of winning UNICEF Euro Lottry jackpot, an example is provided below:
Please verify the authenticity of any transaction before sending a response and certainly before parting with any money. If you are in any doubt, please contact UNICEF Ireland directly on + 353 878 3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have been approached in a similar fashion, please contact your local Garda station with full details of the correspondence that has been received. They may be able to find out who is involved. If you have been a victim of these types of fraud, the only chance of you being able to recover any loss will be if the Gardai are able to bring the perpetrators to justice.
How do I know a fundraiser is genuinely raising funds for UNICEF Ireland?
All our fundraisers have letter of authority and a proper fundraising card, which is individually numbered and also includes their personal contact details and information about what event they are doing on behalf of UNICEF Ireland.
This fundraising card is never a photocopied piece of paper. View what our sponsorship form looks like here (link to low res version of sponsorship form).
If you have been approached by someone – at home or on the street, who is claiming to be raising funds for UNICEF Ireland and you believe they might not be a genuine fundraiser, do not give them any cash and please contact the UNICEF Ireland office on 01- 878 3000 or email@example.com with information on who approached you, how and when. Staff here in the UNICEF Ireland office will be able to confirm whether this is a legitimate fundraiser or not.
Sadly fraudulent fundraising is not only affecting UNICEF Ireland – many other charities are also targeted by people who take advantage of generous supporters across the country.
Who might contact me from UNICEF Ireland?
UNICEF Ireland may contact our donors by telephone to ask for support. If the caller is from a contracted, professional telemarketing agency, at the start of the call you will always be informed that you are being contacted on UNICEF Ireland’s behalf. If you have any concerns whether the call you receive is genuine, please contact Ciara Sneyd in the UNICEF Ireland office on 01-878 3000 or Ciara@unicef.ie for confirmation.