UAE: Police arrest 7 scammers who send out fake WhatsApp texts, dupe residents into sharing bank details

These fraudsters would also call up unsuspecting victims, telling them their bank accounts would be frozen if they didn't give the information

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Reuter file photo
Reuter file photo

By Web Desk

Published: Thu 31 Aug 2023, 5:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 31 Aug 2023, 10:45 PM

Fighting the rise of phishing and phone scams, the Ras Al Khaimah Police managed to track down a gang of fraudsters believed to be stealing huge sums of money from residents' bank accounts.

Seven Asians from inside and outside the country were arrested in connection with the scam, police said on Thursday.

The gang would pose as bank representatives and contact residents via phone calls or fake WhatsApp messages, the police said, explaining the modus operandi. Then, they would people into revealing bank details by saying their accounts would be blocked if the data was not provided. Victims who fall victim to this scheme would end up giving scammers access to their bank accounts, and the next thing they know, their deposits are wiped out.

Brig-Gen Tariq Muhammad bin Saif, acting director-general of operations at Ras Al Khaimah Police, said the gang was busted following an intensive operation triggered by a complaint.

He said they received a call from a resident who lost a huge amount of money to a caller who claimed to be a bank staffer.

The report was immediately forwarded to the Department of Criminal Investigation and Investigation – Technical Crimes Branch, and a special task force was created.

The team launched an investigation, planned the operation carefully, and successfully tracked down the gang. Their bank accounts were traced and the money was seized.

In cooperation with the Sharjah Police, they were also able to confiscate a "large number of bank cards" owned by the scammers. The money believed to have come from criminal activities was transferred to the authorities concerned to complete recovery procedures.

Public warned

Brig-Gen Bin Saif warned residents of such scams, reiterating the need to remain vigilant. Do not respond to calls and messages from unknown numbers, especially those pretending to be bank employees, he said.

Banks do not ask customers to disclose personal information via SMS, e-mails or phone calls under the pretext of updating accounts, the official added.

In case you encounter such suspicious activities, report them to the authorities immediately, he said.


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