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INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, is the world’s largest international police organization, with 195 member countries.  Founded in 1923, its mission is to facilitate the exchange of police information and promote cooperation and assistance between law enforcement authorities of its member countries. 

the United States is a member of INTERPOL, as authorized by Title 22, United States Code §263a.  As a condition of membership, the United States maintains a National Central Bureau (NCB) in Washington, D.C., which serves to maintain liaison with the Organization’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France, and the National Central Bureaus of INTERPOL’s 194 other member countries.  The United States also details (“seconds”) law enforcement officials to serve at INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France.

Fraud Alert BEWARE OF FRAUDSTERS and SCAMMERS! Neither INTERPOL nor INTERPOL Washington contacts private citizens to request personal information. INTERPOL Washington communicates with official law enforcement officials only. INTERPOL is aware of emails and phone calls from individuals claiming to be officials or agents of INTERPOL or INTERPOL Washington that ask for personal or financial information. These messages often imply that they are trying to verify information or offer protection. The messages may also include a threat that a citizen will be considered a criminal if he or she does not comply. If an individual receives an email or phone call from someone claiming to represent INTERPOL or INTERPOL Washington, and personal information or bank account information is requested, the request should be ignored; neither personal nor financial information should be provided. In cases where personal or financial information is inadvertently provided, local law enforcement should be contacted immediately to determine how to proceed.