International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Scammers targeting ICTM members via email

The ICTM Secretariat would like to warn that cybercriminals have been recently targeting ICTM members to try and scam them into sending them money. These criminals are mining publicly available information found on the ICTM website to create personalised scam emails that fabricate situations for which they urgently need money, impersonating members of the Executive Board, the World Network, etc. If you receive such an email, DO NOT REPLY!

Unfortunately, this criminal activity is rampant on the Internet. The Secretariat has learned that sister societies, university departments, NGOs, and other organizations (including UNESCO) are routinely targeted by these petty criminals. Moreover, there is nothing the Secretariat can do to pre-emptively stop these attacks, as these cybercriminals exploit the very nature of how email works. In order to stay safe, we urge you to keep in mind the following tips when receiving a suspicious message:

  • Always be suspicious when money is involved.
  • Always be suspicious when anything urgent is involved.
  • Use the ICTM Online Membership Directory to look up the sender's information, and check whether the registered email address matches the address from which the email was sent. If it doesn't, or it is from a public email provider (eg. Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL), consider it fake. Ideally, call the sender on the phone if you can. 
  • Check the "reply-to" address. It's easy to make emails look like as if they come from the legitimate address, and then redirect them away from that address.
  • Don't respond either way, because scammers may be able to get information about your account (e.g., the IP address). The less they know about you, your device, and where you are, the better it is.

We assure you that the ICTM website has not been "hacked" in any way. Our database of members is strongly encrypted, patched with the latest security updates, and stored in a safe location on mirrored servers outside the physical premises of the Secretariat. That means that all personally-identifiable information of the general membership is secure and protected.