Warning: Scams, hoaxes and frauds involving MSF
Please be aware there have been cases of individuals posing as Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff in order to scam people out of money.
MSF has received reports of third parties attempting to fraudulently obtain money on our behalf via email, social networking websites or apps, or in person at public locations.
Examples of scams
The following is a list of scams and hoaxes that have been brought to our attention (please note this list is not exhaustive):
- An individual or individuals carrying out what appears to be fraudulent collections of money in public locations, including online fundraising platforms, while pretending to represent MSF.
- People posing as MSF staff in emails asking for reimbursements for donations, sometimes naming actual MSF staff or senior management in their appeals in order to bring a sense of credibility.
- People posing as MSF staff requesting money to pay for individual medical procedures for fictitious patients.
- People posing as MSF staff who have been detained on their way home and asking for money to be transferred in order to secure their release from detention.
- People posing as MSF staff, or acting on behalf of MSF staff, on social networking websites or apps in order to lure unsuspecting members of the public to send funds to cover the travel costs of the alleged MSF staff member to return from a field mission.
- People posing as MSF and approaching suppliers to fraudulently solicit services in MSF’s name, including attempts to fraudulently book travel in MSF’s name with travel booking companies.
All MSF staff are instructed to call their home MSF office if they find themselves in an unfortunate situation like losing their passport or if they have trouble with a visa. We then provide all the support they need to get home.
MSF staff in the field will also have access to funds in an emergency situation and so have no need to request financial support from anyone, for either themselves or their patients.
What to do if you are affected
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do to stop scams such as these and others from happening. If you are unsure if you are the subject of a scam or fraud involving a supposed MSF staff member, please get in contact with our Safeguarding team who are best placed to advise you.
As soon as you are aware of a scam or fraud, we strongly suggest that you log a report with Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, where reports are coordinated and investigated.
You can log a report via their website, or call them on 0300 123 2040.