Warning on scams and fraudulent schemes that misrepresent IFC’s name

Businesses and individuals should take care not to fall victim to investment scams, which are commonly known as Advance Fee Fraud schemes. Some of these schemes fraudulently invoke the institution’s name or claim to be affiliated with it or the World Bank Group.

What forms do these fraudulent schemes take?

Like many other large organizations, we have seen increased use of sophisticated forms and letterhead that appear to be legitimate IFC email correspondence or certificates. IFC’s name is falsely invoked to give the scheme the appearance of authenticity and, in some cases, the wrongdoers may use the names of actual IFC 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 IFC’s name – are sent by e-mail every week and are addressed to individuals and companies around the world.

IFC has no involvement in such schemes, and cannot accept any responsibility for resulting loss, damage or claim. We would therefore like to caution the public to be wary of these and other similar solicitations that falsely claim to be affiliated with IFC or the World Bank Group.

What should you do if you receive suspicious correspondence about money transfers or other solicitations that reference IFC?

If you receive what seems to be an unusual money request from person(s) purporting to represent IFC, or have concerns as to the authenticity of IFC's actual involvement in a particular transaction, solicitation, notification, directive or request, do NOT respond to the request and do NOT send any money or provide any of your personal bank account details. 

IFC does not typically investigate these types of scams.  If you feel you have been the victim of such a scam you should contact local law enforcement authorities. 

What should you do if you receive a suspicious notification about a job posting or offer from IFC asking you to send money as part of the recruitment process?

IFC does not request any amount of money as part of its recruitment process. This scheme is used to falsely obtain money and/or personal information.

Official communication from IFC will always come from emails ending in @ifc.org. If you believe that you are a potential victim of a fraudulent job offer, please forward any related information you have received to ethics_helpline@worldbank.org.

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