Beware of Scams
UNHCR does not tolerate any fraud, corruption, or exploitation.
All application forms and services provided by UNHCR and its partners are free of charge. You cannot pay for registration or resettlement, or to process your case faster. Do not trust anyone or any organisation that asks you to pay for any UNHCR or partner services.
Beware of fraudsters who may offer you registration, resettlement, financial or other kinds of assistance, fraudulent UNHCR documents and fake claims in exchange for money or other favours. These offers may be made to you in person or via social media, including Facebook, Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber, Instagram, YouTube, or others. They may show you information to persuade you that they are connected to UNHCR. Do not believe them.
People who make such false promises are taking advantage of your situation. Avoid them at all costs. They may steal your money or profit from selling your personal information.
Any UNHCR services offered to you in exchange for money are fraudulent. If money or any other form of favour, including of a sexual nature, is requested from you, you should report it immediately to UNHCR through the online form here, to any UNHCR partner, and to the nearest police station immediately.
Fraud is a crime under Malaysian law. You can approach the nearest police station and report fraud. Take all the evidence that may be available to you while reporting the fraud incident.
Reporting fraud incidents will not delay or negatively impact your UNHCR case.
Fraud and Corruption
Fraud is any act or omission, including misrepresentation or concealment, to intentionally mislead UNHCR, its partners and/or refugees to obtain a benefit.
Corruption is offering, giving, receiving or soliciting (directly or indirectly) anything of value to improperly influence the actions of another party.
Fraud generally involves dishonest behaviour for personal or financial gain. Corruption is offering or receiving bribes or any other form of undue advantage.
Examples of Fraud and Corruption Against Refugees
Identity fraud is where a person uses someone else’s personal information to register with UNHCR, or a person lies about their name or other identifying information This might include someone using another person’s UNHCR registration letter to access services or processes intended for that person.
Family composition fraud involves lying about the actual composition of a family or the relationships within a family to gain undue benefits. This can involve adding or removing individuals from a case based on false family relationship claims. For instance, friends might falsely claim to be brothers to add someone to a case, or a person might add a nephew as their own child in their case.
Document fraud involves presenting false or manipulated documents as genuine. This could include fabricating whole documents, altering legitimate documents, or using falsified UNHCR documentation such as identification cards, UC letters, appointment slips, or medical documents.
An exploitation scheme involves a person or groups of persons who falsely claim to have special ties or links to UNHCR or its partners, including resettlement countries, and ask for payment in exchange for registration, documentation, resettlement, or any other UNHCR process. Exploitation schemes can take place in person by individuals pretending to be UNHCR or partner staff, or online / through social media (e.g. on Facebook where someone promises to register individuals in a certain location and provide UNHCR documents for a fee, or through WhatsApp messages with photos or audio clips impersonating UNHCR/ partner staff, asking individuals to pay for UNHCR processes.
Corruption involves offering money or services to UNHCR staff in exchange for favourable decisions or expedited processes.
- Beware of Scams: Woman Claiming to Work at UNHCR (08 February 2023)
- Beware of Scams: Community Leader (15 February 2023)
- Beware: Registration and Resettlement Scam on Facebook (16 March 2023)
- Beware of Scams: A Man Going by Names of Osman, Michael or Bo Bo Selai (28 September 2023)
- Beware of Scam: Rohingya YouTuber (04 December 2023)
- Man Named Devdass or Davadass Anjan (22 December 2023)
Materials on Beware of Scams
Have Some Questions?
For more information, please consult the Beware of Scams Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).