Do not fall!  Government alert for fraud on fake institutional sites

The Institute to Return the Stolen to the People (INDEP), dependent on the Ministry of Finance and Public Creditwarned citizens of the increase in online scams through internet domains that pose as official links and institutional channels.

In a press release, the INDEP indicated that there is a record of fraud against individuals and institutions and during the first semester of 2022 has detected and reported 44 fake website sites, as well as 14 social media profiles where scammers they pass themselves off as “official sites” with the purpose of defrauding.

These fake profiles and channels, the agency detailed, ask for donations and offer the purchase and sale of movable and immovable property.

“The Institute urges all those interested in participating in any of the Institute’s auctions, that they should do so only through the link and not fall for the deception of “cyber criminals, whose fraud is on the rise,” stated the agency.

The INDEP ruled that the participants who intend to enter the Institute’s web page must “click” on the correct website whose ending is make sure the veracity of the link in the URL, so as not to fall into the deception of “cyber criminals”, since the “links” that link to web pages can also be received in email messages, text messages or WhatsApp, where the user is asked to “click” on them.

“Using this method, on many occasions, instead of asking for personal data from the user, they get the victim to install some type of ‘malware’ on their device, which facilitates fraud. Given this scenario, the Institute to Return Stolen to the People also alerts all institutions of the different levels of government, especially state and municipal, not to fall into acts of alleged donations or direct purchases at low prices on behalf of the Institute. , since, in both cases, they only seek to defraud by posing as “official pages” with apocryphal signatures of supposed “public servants”, as well as false contact information, formats and seals,” he warned.

Due to these frauds, The Institute to Return Stolen Items to the People reported that it has sent 1,830 official notices to alert Municipalities and public Universities to highlight the differences between the official pages and the apocryphal ones, while specifying the ways of proceeding of those who wish to defraud the different institutions.

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The Institute reminded citizens that it does not sell goods through social networks or via email, it does not have intermediaries and much less, it asks for advance payments. In addition, he stressed that the different auctions of the Institute are: hammer, sealed and online, all of them are public and transparent events.

What should you do if you spot a fake site?

INDEP issued the following recommendations in this regard:

1. Report on the official social networks Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

2. Report to the Prosecutor’s Office closest to your home, check the list at to find out which one you should go to.

3. Periodically review the list of false pages that we update every month, on this site

4. Share this information on your social networks to alert more people

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