Watch out for these Prevalent Frauds in the UAE

TV series like White Collar and Hustle have been quite popular in their days; with the elaborate planning and detailed cons, you never knew such frauds were ever possible! But coming back to reality, have you ever considered that you might fall prey to such con artists as well, who won’t necessarily possess the morals of Neil Caffery or Michael Stone? Probably not. Well, it’s high time that you do because the con men at play in the UAE are devising clever and innovative schemes to rob you of your hard earned money. The following frauds are on the high rise in UAE, especially in the big metropolitan cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai:

Online Credit Card Frauds

In February only, the Dubai police arrested 381 suspects who were associated with online credit card frauds for the past two years.

Dubai: Just last week, it was found through a survey that every one in ten residents of the UAE is a victim of online credit card fraud. On Sunday, the 19th of June, the results of this survey were released at the launch of the UAE Card Security Week by the Department of Economic Development in collaboration with Visa. The campaign lasted from June 20 to June 27. The main focus of the campaign was to guide customers regarding safe online shopping and avoiding credit card frauds in the UAE.

SIM Swap Frauds

The residents of Abu Dhabi are being warned about a new kind of financial fraud in which tricksters get a hold of your mobile phone to access sensitive banking information. The scam is being called as the ‘SIM Swap Fraud’ and last week, the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank sent email alerts to safeguard its customers against the scam.

The fraudsters somehow gain access to personal information of individuals and then request the mobile carrier companies for a new SIM card by stealing the individual’s identity. They even forged identification documents that are required for the issuance of a new SIM card. The company deactivates the old SIM card and once the fraudsters get a new one attached to the person’s bank account, they can receive bank notifications and one-time PIN codes.

The Magic Pen Fraud

Some banks in the UAE are dealing with angry customers who have been conned into giving away more money than intended through checks. The ink of ‘magic pens’ fades away after a while and that’s the reason these pens are used by fraudsters for filling in checks. They lure in customers as imposters and either:

  • Persuade the issuer to use another pen to fill in the details of the amount and beneficiary’s name

  • Or ask the customer for a blank check to fill in their phony information with their magic pen. The check is then returned to the customer that he/she signs with an ordinary pen.

So, when the ink of the magic pen fades away, the fraudsters write the beneficiary’s name and the amount according to their liking. The check is then cashed through different third parties from various banks.

The First Gulf Bank and RAK Bank are among those establishments who have issued an email alert to their customers regarding this fraud. Follow these safety tips if you wish to protect yourself from this kind of fraud.