Fraudsters are always on the lookout for targets, using different means and ways to deceive consumers in the UAE. They use sophisticated, or even emotional, tactics to trick you. This means you, or someone you know, could lose their entire life savings — within seconds.
The UAE residents are generally targeted through four scams. According to the UAE’s largest bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the consumers are targeted through impersonation, investment, lottery and online scams.
>> Impersonation scam: Fraudsters ask you to transfer money to them, claiming to be a family member in trouble or pretending to be from the bank to gain access to your confidential details with the intention to steal.
>> Investment scam: Posing as financial consultants, the fraudsters encourage you to invest in fake companies or put your money in offshore banks for higher returns.
>> Lottery scam: You receive a call or e-mail stating that you have won a lottery. To receive your ‘prize’, you are required to pay a fee or share your OTP/card details.
>> Online scam: Fraudsters gain access to your bank account or funds by establishing trust through social media.
How to stay safe
In order to protect themselves from fraudsters, people in the UAE should take four steps:
>> Ignore suspicious calls and emails about contests or offers that require personal information or payment to receive a prize.
>> Practise online safety. Always key in a website address instead of clicking.
>> Do not download anti-virus or software updates sent via email or SMS. These could be used to access your personal details on your computer.
>> Never reveal personal information, your PIN, password or account number to strangers.
How to spot, stop and report
>> Spot: Always check the identity of the person you are dealing with. Fraudsters are good impersonators.
>> Stop: Never open emails or click on links sent by people you don’t know.
>> Report: The sooner you report the case, the better the chances of stopping the fraud.
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