In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Herat Province and surrounding areas, it is crucial for the affected community to be aware of potential scams and fraudulent activities. International organizations, including WFP, IOM, UNHCR, DRC, IRC, and other international organizations, are working tirelessly to provide assistance, but scammers may try to exploit the situation.
This guide aims to equip you with practical advice and detailed information on how to protect yourself from scams and fraud.
1. Understanding Scams and Fraud
1.1 Recognizing Scams
- Be cautious of individuals or groups requesting money or valuables in exchange for assistance.
- Watch out for fake social media accounts and messages claiming to represent international organizations.
- Be skeptical of unsolicited phone calls, text messages, or emails asking for personal information or money.
1.2 Common Tactics Used by Scammers
- Impersonating international organizations: Scammers may create fake accounts or pose as representatives of reputable organizations to deceive and extort money or personal information.
- False promises: Scammers may make false claims about providing expedited assistance in exchange for payment or valuable items.
- Illegitimate registration and assessment: Scammers may request money or valuables for assessment or registration purposes, claiming it is a prerequisite for receiving aid.
1.3 The Importance of Protecting Yourself
- Scammers prey on vulnerable populations during times of crisis, such as natural disasters, to deceive and exploit individuals in need.
- Protecting yourself from scams and fraud ensures that you receive legitimate assistance and prevents further harm.
2. Practical Advice to Prevent Scams and Fraud
2.1 Verify Legitimacy
- Cross-check all communication claiming to be from international organizations. Only trust information from official sources, such as verified websites, hotlines, or local distribution points.
- Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, text messages, or emails asking for personal information or money.
2.2 Official Channels
- Verify the legitimacy of any communication claiming to be from an international organization. Only trust information from official sources, such as websites, hotlines, or local distribution points.
2.3 Alternative Representatives
- If you are a woman or part of a female-headed household facing difficulties accessing distribution sites, you can designate an alternate person to collect your entitlements.
3. Reporting and Seeking Support
If you come across fake social media accounts claiming to represent international organizations, promptly report them to the organization through official channels. Please consider the followings:
3.1 Contact AWAAZ
You can contact AWAAZ for fake social media accounts claiming to represent international organizations. If you have phone access, contact AWAAZ at (410) toll-free (every day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
3.2 Contact Relevant INGO
If you come across fake social media accounts claiming to represent any international organization, promptly report them to the relevant organizations through their official channels or mobile offices in the field.
3.3 Contacting WFP
If you have questions, concerns, or feedback regarding WFP assistance, reach out directly:
- Telephone: 0790555544 (toll-free, Sunday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.).
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you lack phone access, approach WFP staff and partners at food distribution points for information and support.
3.3 Stay Informed and Vigilant
- Regularly check official sources of information, such as trusted websites and community announcements, to stay updated on legitimate aid efforts and potential scams.
- Report any suspicious activities or attempts at fraud to local authorities or the relevant organization.
During times of crisis, it is unfortunate that some individuals may attempt to take advantage of vulnerable populations. By understanding the risks associated with scams and fraud, and following the practical advice provided in this guide, you can protect yourself and your household from falling victim to fraudulent activities.
Remember, international organizations, including WFP, IOM, UNHCR, DRC and IRC, will never contact you through social media platforms. Stay vigilant, report any suspicious activities, and seek assistance from official channels to ensure your safety and receive the genuine support you need.
For those Afghans seeking specific information, "Beporsed" is here to help. You can reach our information center through WhatsApp (+93729807235), Facebook Messenger, or our website's Messenger to ask our online information desk officer for assistance.
For more information
For more information on immigration, resettlement, education and scholarship programs, and other opportunities available to Afghans worldwide, as well as details on the humanitarian services provided by international organizations in Afghanistan and procedures for obtaining civil documents from governmental institutions, please visit Beporsed's website and social media pages.