Crime and Courts

Trio dupes woman of Dh42,000 in fake prize scam in UAE

Ahmed Shaaban /Ras Al Khaimah
Filed on November 13, 2018
Trio dupes woman of Dh42,000 in fake prize scam in UAE

(File photo)

The suspects were also accused of forging the signatures of others to buy mobile phone cards.

Three Africans have stood trial at the Ras Al Khaimah Criminal Court for trapping a woman in a fake prize scam and duping her of Dh42,000. They were also accused of forging the signatures of others to buy mobile phone cards, which were used to call the victim. 

As per court records, the trio put the fake signatures on an official application document to get the cards. They called the victim on her mobile phone and lured her into believing that she had won a big prize money. The suspects asked her to deposit Dh42,000 in a local account so that she is able to access the prize.

The victim followed their instructions and deposited the money in the said account. However, she didn't receive the prize money as promised.

Sensing that she had been fleeced, she approached the RAK Police for help.

Intensive investigations led the CID sleuths to the hideout of the alleged scammers.

They were referred to the RAK pubic prosecution, which charged them with forgery and fraud.

However, two of the accused blamed the first defendant for the entire fraud at the court. They called the gang chief (first defendant), identified only as F.A., as the mastermind behind the crime.

"He misled us and asked us to receive and transfer different amounts of money through one of the money exchange houses in the country," they claimed.

The duo added that the kingpin asked them to sign the official documents required for receiving and transferring the money to other accounts abroad.

The first defendant denied the charges of forging the signatures of the two Asian residents to buy two SIM cards, which he used in misleading his victims.

He conned a woman and persuaded her to transfer up to Dh42,000 to him, and he transferred that amount to his country, it was alleged.

Word of caution

Earlier in October, two Asians were arrested for defrauding a GCC national of Dh10,000 after snaring him in a fake prize scam. The duo allegedly called the victim on his mobile phone and lured him into believing that he had won a million-dollar prize.

The two told the man that before being offered the prize, he would have to deposit Dh10,000 in a local account. The victim followed the duo's instructions and deposited the money in the account. However, he didn't receive the prize money as promised.

The duo called him again and told him to deposit Dh10,000 more.

Sounding an alert, Advocate Haidi Abdulhadi said the law enforcement bodies across the country have repetitively warned the public against such frauds.

"People should only deal with trusted suppliers whenever they want to buy a product or avail of a service."

Fraudsters always mislead people and cheat them by giving them fake and exceptional offers, she added.

"One should report such suspicious practices and people to the security bodies concerned."

Quite often, unsuspecting residents in the UAE receive promotional messages on WhatsApp and social media networks purportedly from top brands, including hypermarkets, declaring them winners of a fake promotion.

In spite of a word of caution, there are some who still fall prey to these scams.

A new message doing the rounds is 'Lucky Draw Promo 2018', which appears to be from a well-known hypermarket, offering the lucky winner Dh200,000.

To claim the offer, the winners are asked to give a call on two numbers mentioned in the message. 

"The public is advised to exercise extreme caution while dealing with anyone asking for their bank card or other personal details and report the matter to the authorities concerned."

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