Dubai regulator alerts residents about an advance fee scam
Dubai - Gulf One fraudulently uses the DFSA's name and legitimate switchboard number
The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) on Wednesday alerted the financial services community and members of the public about a fraudulent advance fee scam perpetrated by an investment company called Gulf One.
The firm fraudulently uses the DFSA's name and legitimate switchboard number and falsely claims to be located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
A statement issued by DFSA said Gulf One offers investors an investment account and then informs investors that they have made profits on that investment which the investors can redeem.
However, when an investor seeks to redeem the alleged profits, Gulf One tells the investor that they have to send a "refundable payment" amounting to 20 per cent of the alleged profits to the DFSA.
Gulf One claims that this refundable payment is required because the DFSA had put the investor's account "on hold", and the payment is required as part of the "standard banking procedures".
Gulf One then provides the investor with money transfer details in which an IBAN allegedly in the name of the DFSA is cited.
In an attempt to make the scam seem authentic, Gulf One also provides the legitimate telephone number of the DFSA's switchboard to investors as a contact number. The DFSA switchboard has received a number of calls from investors asking about the status of their investment and when they can expect to receive their "profits".
Gulf One also provides investors with a document called "Declaration of Deposit".
The DFSA advised that Gulf One is not connected in any way whatsoever with the DFSA; it has no offices in the DIFC and is not a DIFC company; and it is not licensed by the DFSA to carry out any Financial Services in the DIFC.
Gulf One is therefore not permitted to "offer trading and investment services that comply with Islamic law" or "advising services on suitable model portfolio trading"; and does not hold a commercial licence from the DIFC Registrar of Companies to operate any business in or from the DIFC.
The DFSA strongly advises that individuals should not respond to any communications regarding this scam, and under no circumstances should they send any money to the IBAN number provided by Gulf One or to any other person involved in the scam.