Your credit report and financial history can get severely damaged if you become a victim of identity theft. Financial fraud is often a silent crime, and you will not even realize that have become a victim of the fraud. Currently, it has become a major concern since most of us rely on the internet for many of our financial transactions. A few UAE banks have even removed their cashiers and teller staff to make online banking the standard method for conducting transactions.
The UAE is safe in comparison to other countries, but online crimes are still occurring and increasing as well. Recently, Sharjah’s police arrested a gang that was involved in electronic scams. Scammers in the UAE steal the identity of individuals and then spend their money doing several transactions. A common scam reported by many residents is the impersonation of banking institutions. Fraudsters pretend to be calling from the bank, and then trick you into transferring funds into fake bank accounts.
The most major sign that indicates your identity has been stolen is the increase in small transactions on your credit card statements that you have no idea about.
In some cases scammers even end up getting a new credit card by using your stolen information. In such cases you might receive electronic statements for a credit card you never knew you had. Or a courier service like Aramex delivers a credit card you did not request for. Your identity might be secretly stolen if your credit card gets declined and you are certain that you would not have hit your credit limit by now.
In order to find out if there has been any unauthorized access to your credit card, you should apply for your Al Etihad credit bureau (AECB) report. If you observe any errors or discrepancies in your AECB credit report and there is some information unrelated to you, it would strongly indicate that your identity has been stolen.
In some cases you might observe that your access to online banking is blocked or you are unable to gain access to some other online service. If such a situation occurs, someone might have changed your password. If such a circumstance arises, take action immediately.
The first thing you have to do is to contact your service provider and report to them that unauthorized transactions are being made on your behalf. Also, get a reference number.
Once you have informed your bank about the situation, the responsibility shifts to the bank to protect you from any further harm. They would then make your debit or credit card inactive.
Some UAE banks have 24-hour hotline that you can call to report identity theft.