June 2019 From the IFAC President

Scam attempts directed to the IFAC community

Dear IFAC Friends and Colleagues,

I urgently need your help for the International
Federation of Automatic Control. There is a re-
ally urgent payment that we need to pay for the
next IFAC conference and the IFAC Treasurer is
currently traveling…

I hope you are already suspicious! With a mail in
your inbox like that, your warning bells should
start ringing in your head. You might have al-
ready  received  such  an  email,  or  comparable
emails, purportedly sent from my or from an-
other IFAC official’s account. The frequency in
which such mails are sent to a growing circle of
addressees, as well as their feigned accuracy,
are  alarmingly  increasing  the  last  years  and
months. This makes them a clear threat to an
organization like IFAC, which is based on vol-
unteers willing to spend their time and money
for the greater good of the systems and control

While  these  scam  mails  become  more  and
more  realistic,  everyone  becomes  more  in-
formed.  This  is  also  why  I  am  devoting  this
presidential  column  to  this  annoying  and  in-
vidious subject. Raising awareness and keep-
ing everyone informed is the only way that  I,
or  rather  we  as  IFAC,  can  act  defensively
against  such  criminals.  Please  note  that  they
did  not,  and  (hopefully)  will  not,  hack  my  ac-
count.  Therefore,  one  piece  of  crystal  clear
evidence  for  such  a  scam  mail  is  the  header
of these mails. At first sight, these mails might
seem to come from my account (mostly: ) as the ‘sent’ ad-
dress  can  be  arbitrarily  falsified  without  any
hacking. However, when you look at the ‘reply-
to’ mail address in the header, you quickly find
something like ‘eu.rep009@gmail.com’, ‘presi-
dent.ifac@zoho.com’, ‘ac160@aol.com’ and in
case of one really good scam mail even ‘frank.
allgower@ist-uni-stuttgart.de’ (please note the
dash between ist and uni that is a dot in my true
email). Please also be immediately suspicious,
when someone asks you for a money transfer,
possibly urgently. It is probably a matter of time
that you will receive such a scam mail, if you
have not received one yet. So please be aware!
Be suspicious!

If  you  are  one  of  those  who  have  already  re-
ceived numerous such mails purportedly sent
by me, maybe you can also see this as a com-
pliment! You are one of those valuable volun-
teers  really  involved  within  IFAC,  promoting
the systems and control community, and only
as  a  consequence  you  are  the  perfect  target
for such scams. And in case there is an email
so adequately formulated that you are unsure
about whether this is a scam mail, you can al-
ways ask me whether the inquiry is truly from
myself  via  .
Just, please, don’t send them any money. Or,
if you really want to get rid of some money, ask
me for my real bank account ;)

With best regards from Stuttgart
Frank Allgöwer