There are various fraudulent schemes whose authors purport to be the OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) personnel or agents, or otherwise associated with the OPEC Fund.
Frequently, but not exclusively, such schemes take the form of emails, rogue websites, faxes or telephone calls to unsuspecting members of the public. Increasingly, internet fraud takes the form of correspondence known as ‘Phishing’, a cyber-technique whereby email messages, instant messages and websites are used to dupe individuals or corporate entities into disclosing personal, business or other confidential information.
Most scams purporting to originate from the OPEC Fund promise recipients OPEC Fund financial assistance and request personal, business or confidential information for purposes such as invitation to fictitious, the OPEC Fund-sponsored conferences, grant, scholarship or job applications, and participation at OPEC Fund events. Others request monetary deposits such as front end fees or advance payments and registration or processing fees as a precondition of, or to facilitate, such financial assistance. These scams sometimes carry the OPEC Fund logo and derive from e-mail addresses designed to look confusingly similar to the OPEC Fund addresses.
Please be aware that the OPEC Fund does not:
- conduct lotteries or offer prizes;
- extend any type of loans or grants directly to individuals;
- charge any fees for: job, grant or scholarship applications; attending seminars and conferences; or before a legal agreement is concluded between the OPEC Fund and a beneficiary of its financial assistance;
- have offices outside of its headquarters in Vienna, Austria;
- request for personal, business or confidential information as a precondition for any financial assistance it provides.
The only official website for the OPEC Fund is www.opecfund.org.
The OPEC Fund wishes to warn members of the public of these fraudulent practices which do not originate from and are in no way associated with the OPEC Fund. It is strongly recommended that recipients of any solicitations purporting to be from or associated with the OPEC Fund disregard same and take the necessary precaution to protect all personal, business or other confidential information on the internet. In particular, the OPEC Fund suggests that recipients do not send money or information in response to invitations from anyone who claims to be awarding funds, grants, scholarships, certificates, lottery winnings or prizes in the name of the OPEC Fund. The OPEC Fund is not liable for any sort of loss or damage that occur consequent to such fraudulent schemes.
Scams may take a myriad of forms, in addition to those described above. Thus, the need for caution and vigilance cannot be over-emphasised.
If you have any doubts about the authenticity of an e-mail, letter, phone call or other correspondence purportedly from, for or on behalf of the OPEC Fund, contact us.