UAE: Authority warns of online scams that can get your phone hacked

The Cybersecurity Council lists a set of guidelines that can help residents secure their data and explains four clear signs that may indicate a device is hacked

by

Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Published: Wed 9 Aug 2023, 12:32 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Aug 2023, 11:00 PM

UAE authorities have issued another advisory warning residents of online scams. This time, the alert focuses on hackers pretending to offer domestic helper services.

Fraud comes in various forms, the country's Cybersecurity Council stressed. One can get hacked by clicking on a link. Others can fall for bogus offers on fake websites or dummy social media accounts.

In case a random, suspicious number sends you a message offering domestic help services or any other promo, ignore and block, the authority warned. Such cases should also be reported immediately by dialling 2626 800 for the 'Aman' service.

The UAE Digital Government has listed a set of guidelines to help residents safeguard personal information as part of efforts to counter the rise of online fraud.

Among these guidelines are:

  • Do not share your contact details on unauthorised platforms.
  • Avoid clicking on links in text messages.
  • Refrain from downloading apps from unknown sources

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The latest advisory also highlights four signs that may indicate one's device has been hacked:

  • Unusually rapid battery depletion and consumption rate.
  • Noticeable sluggishness in the performance of smart devices.
  • Automated tasks being carried out by the device without user initiation, such as sending unauthorised texts or downloading additional apps.
  • Unexplained overheating of the device without the use of resource-intensive applications.

To protect personal data, users are strongly encouraged to maintain regular backups; keep their smartphone's operating system up-to-date; and heed security alerts provided by device manufacturers.

In the unfortunate event of falling victim to electronic fraud, the Cybersecurity Council advises against giving in to threats or making any concessions to fraudsters.

Instead, individuals should promptly report incidents through official channels to ensure swift and appropriate action is taken.

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