Fraud and Corruption

Fraud is the act of not telling the full truth to make someone else believe something in order to get something in return, for yourself or for somebody else. Fraud is also not telling the full truth about your identity or hiding the full truth.

Corruption happens when people in positions of power behave in a dishonest way for personal gain. Examples of corruption include accepting gifts and money from asylum-seekers and refugees. It’s not just about receiving something. It also involves offering and asking for anything of value from other people and organizations.

Exploitation Schemes

An exploitation scheme is where persons, or groups of persons, falsely claim to have special links to UNHCR and promise a benefit such as registration, UNHCR documentation and resettlement to a third country in exchange for something valuable, usually money. Many refugees have been cheated of large sums of money through such schemes.

Examples of exploitation schemes include persons claiming to be linked to UNHCR or resettlement countries and asking for money to assist in obtaining UNHCR registration, documentation, RSD or resettlement.

Please remember that all UNHCR services are FREE. You cannot pay to receive any service, or faster service, from UNHCR.

Fighting against Fraud and Corruption

Zero-Tolerance To Fraud & Corruption

UNHCR has a zero-tolerance policy to all types of fraud and corruption

UNHCR Services Are Free, Always

All UNHCR services are always free. You cannot pay to receive quicker services from UNHCR

Say No to Corruption

Paying and receiving money, or doing something for someone to receive UNHCR services, is WRONG

Risk, Integrity and Oversight Team (RIOT)

The Risk, Integrity and Oversight Team (RIOT) at UNHCR Malaysia carries out investigations on refugees involved in fraud and corruption and monitors fraudulent activities.

RIOT also conducts training on fraud awareness and reporting for asylum-seekers and refugees, UNHCR partner agencies and staff.

Reporting on UNHCR Staff or Partner

UNHCR has a zero tolerance policy to all types of fraud and corruption, and takes fraud committed by anyone, even its own staff and partners, very seriously.

If you have information about fraud and corruption committed by UNHCR staff and/or UNHCR Partner Agencies, please report it to UNHCR’s Inspector General’s Office (IGO) based in Geneva, Switzerland, for an independent investigation. This can be done via the IGO’s Online Complaint Form or by email to

The IGO will keep all reports strictly confidential.

Reporting on Asylum-Seekers or Refugees

There are two (2) ways to make a confidential report on fraud and corruption committed by an asylum-seeker or refugee to RIOT.