A checklist for organizations


The International Dance Council CID receives often complaints regarding events proposed by organizations claiming national, international or world status.

The following checklist has been compiled to help distinguish between real and fictitious non-profit organizations.

  1. Does the “organization” have a legal status, offices, salaried staff, a budget, a bank account, a long history?
  1. Is it accredited by government agencies or independent authorities?
  1. Who are its leaders, do they have sufficient credentials, have they been elected by a General Assembly, how many members voted?
  1. Ask for printed material and signed documents to be mailed to you. Do not rely on email messages or websites, especially when they do not feature names, phone numbers and street addresses, not PO boxes.
  1. Check its website for a legal office address, names and addresses of elected officers, past activities, list of active members. Check its visits counter.
  1. Is it open to new voting members? What are its resources? How does it cover office expenses?
  1. Remember:

– Anyone can found his own “organization” with an impressive name, a website and ambitious goals – there is no law against it.

– Some so-called organizations that are actually a disguised business run by a single person operating from his home.

– Very few organizations claiming international status have a large number of members, official recognition, democratically elected officers and employees to operate a real secretariat.

– Many business companies deceive customers by calling them “members”; members vote for their leadership, customers don’t.

  1. Titles (diplomas, certificates, prizes, degrees, championships etc.) issued by private organizations do not have legal value unless recognized by state agencies.
  1. Before registering for an event (festival, workshop, competition etc.) check if it is organized by a competent organization with a legal address and status. Ask for a receipt of payment.
  1. Read about fraudulent conference announcements in the website of the Union of International Associations, an official partner of UNESCO:   www.uia.be/node/46358

Ask embarrassing questions, real organizations are not afraid of them.


    Be cautious of scams implying association with UNESCO

UNESCO has been recently made aware of ongoing fraud schemes abusing the name and logo of UNESCO. These scams, which are circulated by e-mail, Internet websites or social media, state that they are issued by, and/or in association with UNESCO and its officials, and may seek to obtain money or personal information from UNESCO’s partners.

We therefore urge all Staff members and Delegates to:

  • Exercise caution and vigilance when encountering any communications or online activities that claim to be affiliated with UNESCO. Verify the source (genuine communications from reputable organizations should have official email addresses and contact information), Check website authenticity (scammers often create fake websites that closely resemble official UNESCO sites to trick users), and be cautious with attachments (avoid opening email attachments or downloading files from unknown sources, as they may contain malware or viruses).
  • Report fraudulent websites and social media accounts, claiming to be associated with UNESCO, to digitalsecurity@unesco.org.
  • Raise awareness with partners and beneficiaries. Inform your colleagues and peers about the potential scams by highlighting that UNESCO will never charge a fee for recruitment, certificates, and will never ask individuals for credit card or other private information.

For any questions related Digital Security, fraudulent websites and social media accounts, please write to digitalsecurity@unesco.org.

For additional information regarding scams, please consult  https://www.unesco.org/en/scamalert. If a victim of a fraud from an entity with a non-UNESCO domain name reaches out to you, advise the victim to file a complaint with their national authorities.