The UAE is not a bed of roses as compared to the rest of the world when it comes to financial scams. The most common frauds occur through the internet but there alor possibly through a phone call. From nationals to expatriates, all have come across one form of financial scam or another.
Yes, these cases do get reported and justice is served, but you are responsible for your own safety. Here is how you can prevent becoming a victim of a financial scam in Dubai.
Cold Call Scams about Financial Services and Products
Any sales contact through email, fax, or phone which you did not really inquire about is cold calling. The practice does not come in the definition of a financial fraud but it is a common modus operandi of scammers in the UAE. So, if you get a cold call from an unlicensed firm selling financial services and products, you should be on high alert. Most of these cold calling companies are overseas so checking the local records for the existence of such companies is not enough. Procuring services from such companies is a huge risk.
Ask agencies like SCA (Securities and Commodities Authority) to share a list of firms that have the license to provide financial services in the UAE if the cold calling company claims to be in that area or run a background check with offshore financial regulatory bodies for the authentication of the caller. An internet search is not sufficient as a bogus website can conceal the malicious intent.
Cry for an Emergency
Sometimes, scammers make an emotional attempt at stealing your money by telling a heart-wrenching tale of an ailment or suffering. Always ascertain that the person you are trying to help is genuinely in dire need of help.
“Congratulations, You Have Won a Lottery Ticket!” Scams
Your received an email that flashes out the lottery ticket alert? A hundred million Dirhams may seem alluring enough but do not fall into the trap. The email reeks of scam all the way long. Whilst miracles do happen but if you do not remember participating in any similar activity, the chances are pretty slim, right?
Fake Emails from a Bank
One thing that you should be aware of is that banks and credit card companies do not ask for personal information over the email system. You may get prompted by a “genuine-looking” email sent by your bank (apparently) stating that maintenance upgrades, surveys or charges due, etc., requiring you to provide financial information. Never heed to such scammers, as they are plundering the internet by sending thousands of such emails at random to prospective victims, waiting for some unsuspected individuals to take the bait. Unfortunately, a large majority of people who do succumb to these frauds are senior citizens. Never respond to these suspicious emails and always consult your bank first if you haveany concern and if you have loved ones who are seniors, it is advisable to educate them as well.
In certain situations, the scammers are not really interested in getting their hands on your money – all that they want is your identity so that they can create a fake profile and use it to scam others. In order to avoid this type of a scam, always share details with only authorized personnel.