Please be advised that we have been notified of an on-going phishing scam in which scammers are posing as Board Members, Regional Advisors and Community Liaisons of the World Design Organization (WDO).
Please do NOT respond to emails that request any kind of money wire transfers or payment requests. WDO Board Members, Senators Regional Advisors, and Community Liaisons will never personally ask you for money wire transfers.
Please avoid forwarding the phishing email to other parties, including the WDO Secretariat. Simply notify the WDO Secretariat by calling us immediately at +1 514 448 4949 . This will help mitigate the spread of possible tracking.
A phishing email soliciting to send financial funding or account information has been received recently by WDO Regional Advisors. Please note that this phishing email was distributed to a large group of email addresses. There is no indication that our system has been compromised in any way.
This email was not sent by WDO and is not affiliated with WDO in any way.
WDO cannot stop this type of phishing email from being sent by fraudsters, however we have taken precautionary measures to mitigate the phishing emails by turning emails into images to roaming bots to further complicate the copying and stealing of emails.
A copy of the fake email is below:
From Name: Prof. Mugendi MRithaa
From Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the following message:
Hello [insert name],How are you?
Our friend Jorge Gomez and WDO member from Mexico are on the way now to Auckland to attend His sister funeral.As far as I know,they are on the way to [your country] and they have some problem in the Philippine airport.Kindly call them at 00639955504782 or +639955504782 and please help them in any possible way and I will call you as soon as possible.At this time,its midnight here in London and I have a flight to catch later this morning back to South Africa… I will call you as soon I will arrive in my office.Thank you very much in advance and God Bless.
Prof. Mugendi M’Rithaa
World Design Organization
455 St-Antoine Street West, Suite SS10
Canada H2Z 1J1
Phone : +1 514 448 4949
Fax : +1 514 448 4948
Note: These sophisticated emails do not outright ask you for a financial transfer, however, responding to this initial email will ensue a follow up email that will encourage you to enact such a transfer with continuous interaction. There is also an email that is posing as our WDO Treasurer; please do not respond, but do block or delete the email immediately.
Please do not:
- Respond to the phishing email
- Transfer any money to their request
- Give usernames, passwords or logins
- Forward the phishing email to other WDO parties
- Double check the email address of the person who is writing to you. If you are familiar with the person’s personal email address, check that it is from that email address. Otherwise, any WDO Board Member who emails you should come from a wdo.org email address when you click on “Reply”. If you are not familiar with the email address, do not respond. In the example above, the email address is neither an official nor personal email for the WDO President.
- Check the WDO page for Regional Advisors & Community Liaison official emails: http://wdo.org/about/people/regional-advisors-community-liaisons/ If the person who is emailing you is not emailing from these emails, do not respond.
- Contact board members through the WDO App, this is a secure way for you to contact them. If you have not joined the WDO App, we encourage you to join. Please email Tu Tram Pham for further instructions.
- Cease and desist all communications with the phishing email immediately, avoid responding to repeated requests.
- Block the email address and set a rule to mark it as Spam, so the email goes to your junk folder.
- In the instance that you have enacted a financial transfer, please contact your financial institution immediately to stop the transfer.
- If in doubt, please call us immediately at +1 514 448 4949 and leave a detailed message if you are unable to reach anyone at the time of call.
WDO takes these phishing scams very seriously, and we request that you are always vigilant with these types of emails. Always verify that any money transfer requested by the WDO Secretariat comes from an official wdo.org email address when you attempt to reply.