Phone Call Scamming in the UAE

Phone call scammers have now become a widespread plague, tricking many people into their trap. They pretend to be calling from a renowned institution for example, posing to be a government employee or telecom operator, and then trick people into transferring funds to their account. Some recently reported phone call scams include:

Balance transfer scams

For carrying out these scams, fraudsters call an individual and pretend to be telecom operators of Etisalat. They congratulate the call-receiver about a cash prize that they just won, and tell them that in order to claim this reward they have to do a couple of things. Firstly, they instruct the receiver to call the caller back. They then ask the victim to note down their lucky number or a bank coupon number. The victim is then told to recharge an etisalat prepaid SIM with an amount of Dh500 after which etisalat would give them bank cheque details.

If the receiver asks for  proof, scammers instruct them to check digits on their etisalat SIM, which would match the provided “lucky number”, but all the provided information is a set up -- a way to make the receiver believe that everything is real and true.

Etisalat has warned the public about these scams and urged consumers to verify any information related to new services or promotions by calling on 101.

Fraudulent tax schemes phone calls

Another case came up in Dubai where people reported they would receive a call from the Financial Services Authority (Dubai Regional Office) asking to contribute to a  $100,000 fund to be used by the government of Dubai, so that a road construction project does not get cancelled. They provide some forged tax receipts to the victim and ask them to transfer their contributions to a particular bank account.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has warned about this fraudulent scheme and informed the public not to send any money to such callers.

Expo 2020 phone call scam

Another recently reported phone call scam is about the Expo 2020 Dubai, where the caller tries to trick the receiver and gain benefits. The callers usually inform individuals about the ongoing competition scheme formed for the marketing of the expo among the public. Expo 2020 Dubai is aware of such fraudulent acts, which have misled people about non-existent competitions, and the abuse of their name.

Conclusion

Although these calls are usually recognized by the public as fake, but since they are so prevalent and have become so advanced and trickier, a time might come when recognizing their authenticity would become difficult. You should always remain alert to any unknown number trying to seek any of your personal information or referring you to any prize money or other financial gains. Make sure to report such scammers to the given authorities so that action can be taken against them.