Phone scams have become really common in the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Either today or tomorrow, anyone can be a victim of it. Scammers come up with different ways and strategies every now and then as they know people are smart and know how they can cheat them; so they try continuously try out new methods, many more sophisticated than the last. They think that using the names of credible companies can help them cheat people. Normally, if we do rely on credible brands, these con artists can take advantage of that and misuse our trust, ultimately letting those brands down in front of us and making us feel like fools.
Similarly, con artists exploit the Etisalat name (Emirates Telecommunications Corporation) to make fake calls to people on winning prizes and draws. Here’s how they are on the rife nowadays.
What is the Procedure?
Con artists are using the same way to cheat innocent people as they have been using since these scams started to surface. They will usually call you from a local mobile number (that is only for outgoing calls) giving you a good news that you have won a huge prize from Etisalat’s lucky draw. When you will answer the call, they will ask you to call them back. These people have a good professional voice (tricks of the trade) and normally communicate in Arabic, Urdu or English.
On calling them back, they will ask you to claim the prize you wish to own. They usually ask you to buy anything which costs between 2,000-2,500 Dirhams from Etisalat prepaid cards. During this process, they also ask for your pin numbers. Next, they tell you to get your prize money from Dubai Islamic Bank or any other bank. Additionally, they will also quote the first 5 numbers on your SIM card.
In this manner, they are able to steal your phone credit that you have paid for. These scammers often fool you and tell you to take out your SIM card and put it in again and they give you 10 minutes to do so. Probably, they just want to put pressure on you. Furthermore, they resell the credit they got from you at a profit as Etisalat gives a discount on purchasing of bulk cards, ultimately stealing money from you and making money for themselves.
Precautions by Etisalat
Since the Etisalat phone scams are trending, the company has announced some precautionary measures for its valuable customers. They tell their customers to always think when the scammer calls them and tells them about the prize win. People should first think if they really entered themselves into a draw or not. Moreover, when the con artists tell the first 5 SIM card numbers, then they should know that usually all the SIM cards have the same first 5 numbers.
They further said that when scammers ask you to go to a bank to receive the prize, you should immediately understand that it is a fraud as an Etisalat representative will always tell you to visit their head office located in Abu Dhabi and not any of your nearest banks. Also, an Etisalat employee never asks you to transfer funds into an account to claim the prize you have won.
If you find anyone claiming to be giving fake Etisalat prizes, you must immediately call 101 to double check if this is a scam or not.