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PRESS RELEASE August 16, 2019

World Bank Group Warns of Advance Fee Fraud Schemes Misrepresenting Its Name

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2019 ― In light of a resurgence of "advance fee fraud schemes" misusing the World Bank Group’s name, the institution is warning against investment deals and advance fee schemes that fraudulently invoke the institution’s name or claim to be affiliated with the World Bank Group.

Like many large organizations, we have seen increased use of sophisticated forms and letterhead that appear to be legitimate World Bank Group email correspondence or certificates. The World Bank’s name can be falsely invoked to give the scheme the appearance of authenticity and, in some cases, the wrongdoers may use the names of actual World Bank Group staff members to bolster the credibility of the scam.

Advanced fee fraud schemes involve solicitations that encourage potential victims to provide personal information such as signatures or bank account information, and to pay certain advance fees, often described as "processing fees" or “finder’s fees”. In return, the potential victim is promised sums of money which the scammer has no intention of paying.  Police estimate that thousands of these advance fee fraud solicitations – only a very small fraction involving the use of the World Bank Group’s name – are sent by e-mail every week and are addressed to individuals and companies around the world.

The World Bank Group has no involvement in such schemes, and we would like to caution the public to be wary of these and other similar solicitations that falsely claim to be affiliated with the World Bank Group or any member of the World Bank Group (the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes).

You can find more information about fraudulent investment schemes that misuse our name here.



David Theis
(202) 458-8626