A number of cases have been reported of individuals, mostly expats, visiting the UAE losing their hard-earned cash in a scam. Fraudsters are active in the gulf oil state. They try to cheat unwary people of their money using different techniques.
Most of the scammers remain anonymous and take precautions to stay out of the reach of the law enforcement authorities. After committing the act, the scammers quickly disappear from the scene of the crime without a trace. That’s why consumer education is important to minimize the chances of being a victim of the scams in the UAE.
Here are three important tips that can help you avoid getting scammed while in the desert kingdom.
1. Avoid Dealing with ‘Bogus’ Property Dealers
When looking for a place to rent in the Emirates, it’s important to avoid taking help from bogus ‘landlords’ or property dealers. A great number of rental scams have been reported in the country whereby people have been tricked into paying thousands of dollars in advance rents by fake property owners.
Always hire a registered property agent when looking for a place to rent. Make sure that the agent has registered with the Emirates’ Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) by asking for an ID card. Also, always read and understand the terms of the rental agreement before signing the contract. This will help in minimizing the risk of a scam and also prevent confusion regarding payment of repairs, utilities and other charges.
Normally, it is required that the individual submits 5 percent of the annual rent to the landlord. Do not sign any rental agreement that asks for more than this amount. Also, it’s best to request the property owner to attest the property with the municipality. This will offer assurances of a legal remedy in case the landlord does not give back the rental advance.
2. Remain Vigilant when Using Credit Cards
When in the UAE, you should remain cautious when using the credit cards. There have been reports of credit information stolen by confederates of criminals working in banks, retail shops, and other similar retail settings. Also, avoid complying with any requests by suspicious individuals asking for credit card information. .
3. Be Wary of Trading Scams
Due to lack of concrete security policies, several cases have been reported of customers losing thousands of dollars in a trading scams. Keep in mind that there is no shortcut to getting rich particularly when in the UAE. Avoid being lured into investing in any trading ads that promise very high returns.
Also, avoid responding to calls or emails that say that you have won a lottery or a lucky draw. Most of these people are scammers who try to rob unwary customer of their hard earned cash.