Card fraud wreaking havoc in the UAE

Many people believe that standing in a way that prevents people behind them from viewing their PIN number and not revealing their card details to anyone is enough for them to avoid card fraud. Unfortunately, that is not case at least not in the United Arab Emirates. The recent ATM fraud that has wreaked havoc in the UAE is the reason.

In 2015, Dubai police arrested a group of European men accused of stealing around $1.5 million from ATMs across the UAE. The perpetrators adopted a truly unique way of stealing card information. In order to copy cards, the fraudsters placed stickers inside the card reader of the ATM. Furthermore, they recorded the PIN numbers of cardholders by installing cameras. Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated incident of card fraud in the UAE. In fact, one in every ten UAE resident is a victim of card fraud.

Another famous card fraud case occurred in May this year. After gaining unauthorized access of UAE banks’ databases, the perpetrators manufactured fake cards and withdrew more than $40 million within a couple of hours using those cards. For most people in the UAE, credit cards are an easy way to pay for things. Unfortunately, they don’t consider the possible risks.

According to recently revealed statistics, compared to spending in the same period last year consumer spending using cards in the UAE during the first quarter of 2016 increased by 10%. This clearly indicates that an increasing number of UAE residents are using their card to make purchases. Therefore, being wary of card scams is important for people residing in the United Arab Emirates. In view of the ATM card fraud mentioned above, the UAE central bank, and Dubai police are now urging UAE banks to replace old ATMs with newer ones that simply cannot be tampered with.

However, your best chance of avoiding card fraud is adopting measures to protect yourself from card scams. These measures include:

  • Avoiding cash machines that are free standing because they’re easy targets for fraudsters

  • Use your hand to cover the number pad. By doing this, you will prevent the camera from recording your PIN number

  • Avoiding using an ATM machine that appears tampered with or unique

  • Always keep an eye on people around you. If someone is watching you while you use the machine, ditch that machine and go use another one.

  • Never reveal your card details to anyone

  • Avoiding responding to unsolicited emails from your bank asking you to verify your bank account or credit card details

By following the aforementioned steps, residents of UAE can avoid the card frauds that are currently wreaking havoc in the country. However, their best bet to avoid being scammed is following their instincts. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Therefore, if you don’t feel right performing a card transaction then don’t do it.