INTERPOL Washington Warns Against INTERPOL Impersonators
INTERPOL Washington—the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB)—continues to receive reports of unauthorized persons purporting to be representatives of INTERPOL. Please be advised that neither INTERPOL nor the USNCB will reach out to individual citizens requesting any kind of information. INTERPOL and the USNCB only communicate with official law enforcement entities through closed channels.
Criminals are constantly refining the ways they use to trick victims into giving out confidential information. Social engineering fraud exploits a person’s trust in order to obtain money directly or obtain confidential information to enable a subsequent crime. Social media is the preferred channel but it is not unusual for contact to be made by telephone or in person.
The USNCB understands that fraudsters may call and email citizens requesting personal information allegedly related to INTERPOL cases. These are examples of social engineering fraud known as phishing, SMSing, and vishing whereby fake emails, texts, or telephone calls allegedly from legitimate sources are used to induce individuals to reveal personal or financial information.
The fraudsters often claim to be verifying information or offering protection to encourage the recipient to provide certain personal or financial information. Sometimes the communication will threaten criminal penalties for non-compliance. On several occasions, the perpetrators have contacted individuals posing as current and former INTERPOL and USNCB officials. Specific examples of these social engineering attempts can be found at INTERPOL’s website: Beware of scams using INTERPOL’s name.
“The USNCB is committed to protecting U.S. citizens from fraud. We work with the 195 member countries of INTERPOL every day to combat financial and other crimes worldwide. We will never ask for personal information. We only provide investigative support and secure communications between law enforcement authorities,” said USNCB Director Michael A. Hughes.
Individuals should never provide any personal or financial information to anyone claiming to represent INTERPOL or the USNCB. If an individual inadvertently provides personal or financial information during one of these contacts, that person should contact their local law enforcement agency as soon as possible to report the fraudulent activity.
For answers to questions about the USNCB, the public may refer to our website: INTERPOL Washington | Frequently Asked Questions (justice.gov). Information for law enforcement personnel who need to contact the USNCB is also available on our website: INTERPOL Washington | Services for Law Enforcement Agencies (justice.gov)
A component of the U.S. Department of Justice co-managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, INTERPOL Washington—the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB)—is the designated U.S. representative to INTERPOL on behalf of the Attorney General. It serves as the national point of contact and coordination for all INTERPOL matters, coordinating international investigative efforts among member countries and the more than 18,000 local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies.