Press Release: IMF Warns Of Fraudulent E-Mails and Financial Scams Misusing Its Name

July 14, 2006

Press Release No. 06/154

The Finance Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)today issued the following statement to warn the public about fraudulent e-mail messages and financial scams misusing the name of the IMF:

"A recent increase in deceptive schemes designed to defraud members of the public and potential investors has prompted the IMF to repeat its warning about any unsolicited e-mail or other unsolicited communications purportedly originating from, or implying an affiliation with, the IMF.

"The IMF does not send any unsolicited business communications to individuals. The IMF is an intergovernmental organization that conducts its financial transactions directly and exclusively with its member countries. The IMF does not operate through other agents nor endorse the activities of any bank, financial institution, or other public or private agency.

"The IMF has learned of various forms of identity fraud and financial fraud involving the unauthorized use of the IMF's name and emblem. This includes `phishing' attacks, in which the names of IMF officials have been misused to deceive recipients into disclosing personal financial information, and `spoofing' attempts, in which a false copy of the IMF website had been created with false contact information, to mislead potential users.

"The IMF warns the public against various forms of cross-border fraud, investment fraud, advanced fee scams and similar scams (sent by e-mail or hard copy letter) in which the IMF's name has been fraudulently used to induce potential investors. The IMF wishes to stress that it is neither the author of, nor in any other way associated with, such fraudulent activities. The IMF does not issue or guarantee any obligations called "Prime Bank Notes," "Prime Bank Guarantees," "Bill of Exchange" or the like, nor does it extend any credit lines through commercial banks or other agencies. Moreover, the IMF does not guarantee debentures or other financial instruments issued by a member country or any other entity. It does not sponsor investment programs, "high-yield financial programs" or issue to countries or to outside parties an "IMF number," "IMF Country Registration Number", or the like. Please forward suspicious communications to the relevant law enforcement authorities and to "IMF Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20431" or ."

For similar IMF warnings, see News Brief Number 96/14 of November 18, 1996.


Public Affairs    Media Relations
E-mail: E-mail:
Fax: 202-623-6220 Phone: 202-623-7100