Dear Rotarian,

We have recently become aware that multiple accounts impersonating RI President Barry Rassin and General Secretary John Hewko have been created on such channels as email, social media (Twitter and LinkedIn), and WhatsApp. Please note that these are not authentic Rotary communications; they are phishing and spoofing attempts to obtain money and other
personal information. Phishing is an attempt to spoof or mimic an email or social media account of a trusted person or organization to steal information or achieve a malicious goal. 

I want to reassure you that neither President Rassin’s nor General Secretary Hewko’s authentic accounts have been compromised. We continue to monitor for and respond to these types of fraudulent attempts as part of Rotary’s ongoing effort to keep volunteer and staff data safe. 

We appreciate those of you who helped us identify and react to this latest incident. We encourage you to continue to exercise caution and disregard any content that offers money, requests money, or asks for your personal information. Avoid opening attachments or clicking on links from suspicious messages. When confirming the authenticity of an email, pay close attention to the details of the email address and signature blocks. 

If you receive what you believe to be a suspicious message or email from the president or general secretary, please forward it to me at and then delete it immediately. 

As these accounts are being created on non-Rotary systems (such as email, Twitter, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn), we can only be diligent in monitoring this type of activity and work to keep you informed. We have already worked with many of these platforms to remove several imposter accounts. Should you receive a message on another social platform other than those listed above that is possibly fraudulent or believe another Rotary senior leader is being impersonated, please notify us.

Specifically regarding fake accounts on WhatsApp, President Rassin does not use WhatsApp to communicate. Any messages you may receive from him on WhatsApp are fake. However, General Secretary Hewko does use WhatsApp regularly. To help confirm the authenticity of his WhatsApp messages, the last four digits of his phone number are 7754. Any messages from a different phone number are fake and should be ignored.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.

Rick Kick 
Chief Information Officer, RI