Dubai: Two jailed for scamming online shopper of Dh44,000 by posting fake ads on shopping website

Accused monitored victim’s buying trends and targeted them according to their interest through advertisements published on social network

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Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 9:14 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 9:18 AM

The Dubai Misdemeanor Court has sentenced two Africans to one month imprisonment, followed by deportation from the UAE. They have been banned them from using the internet after they were found guilty of defrauding a Gulf citizen. The victim was lured through an online shopping portal, where the accused offered to sell him a bike for Dh22,000, but charged him twice without reason.

According to court papers, the defendants engaged in online fraud by luring shoppers through shopping websites. They monitored victim’s buying trends and targeted according to their interest through an advertisement published on a social network.

One of the defendants contacted the victim through WhatsApp application and offered to sell him a motorbike for Dh22,000 with shipping included. The victim found the deal lucrative and agreed to buy the item. However, the defendants then began requesting that the victim transfer different amounts of money, which ultimately totalled to Dh44,000. The victim later realised that he had been scammed.

In his statement to the police and the Public Prosecution, the victim stated that he came across an advertisement for a motorcycle on a website and contacted the owner through WhatsApp to inquire about it. The two parties agreed on a price for the bike, including shipping fees.

He added that he made a payment in advance, and then the seller began asking him for additional amounts over time, including insurance and customs fees, and others. The seller promised to refund these charges upon receiving the bike.

The victim said the original price agreed upon was Dh22,000, but he paid about Dh44,000 in different instalments but did not receive the bike. Then the defendant again asked him to pay Dh5,000 to deliver the shipment. He doubted them, but it was too late, and he realised he had fallen victim to fraud.

The court was unable to obtain a statement from the second fugitive defendant, despite his legal declaration of the case, and concluded with the conviction of the defendants, and ruled against the first in presence, and the second in absentia, to one-month imprisonment and a fine, and added a punitive measure of preventing them from the internet for six months, starting with the end of the implementation of the sentence.


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