Watch: Scammers impersonate Dubai Police, try to con KT staffer

Experts have warned how scammers always use deceitful tactics and employ urgency to create panic among their victims

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 8:17 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Jul 2023, 11:11 PM

They are relentless; they will persistently dial until they find a victim, and once successful, scammers move on to the next target. Khaleej Times journalist Phil Green was vigilant not to fall prey to such fraudsters who impersonate Dubai Police and con residents.

Recently, Dubai Police issued an advisory warning UAE residents to be careful about phishing emails, and urging people not to fall for these deceitful calls and SMSes.

Earlier this week, Phil Green received yet another call from an individual pretending to be from Dubai Police. The man said that the call was part of an online verification process and proceeded to send Phil a one-time password (OTP). However, Phil was quick to realise the situation as a potential scam and decided to play along, pretending that he hadn't received the OTP.

The scammer persisted and asked Phil's Emirates ID details. Phil, being aware of the potential dangers, refused to provide any personal information. This refusal seemed to have irked the scammer, who resorted to abusive language and even targeted Phil's family.

In the past, Phil received similar calls multiple times. “I have received numerous calls, and almost always, they pretend to be from Dubai Police,” he said. “But this is the first time I have recorded the incident on camera. My biggest worry is that someday Dubai Police might genuinely call me, and I will probably not believe them.”

Red flags

According to Phil, there were some dead giveaways to indicate that it wasn’t a legitimate call. “Firstly, some basic knowledge of what the police would ask for or not helped me,” he said. “Authorities would never have asked for my Emirates ID details over the phone. Also, I know they would never call me from a mobile phone.”

According to experts, legitimate companies and authorities rarely ask for sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card details. Treat any such request with scepticism and verify its authenticity through official channels.

Incoherent instructions, generic or vague greetings, and a threatening tone are all telltale signs of a scam and red flags for people.

Warnings

Scam calls have been a public nuisance for several years, with most Dubai residents receiving at least one every few months. In May this year, Abu Dhabi police warned the public against sharing confidential information, including one-time password (OTP) and credit card details, over the phone.

Meanwhile, experts have shared that instances of emotional cyber fraud were on the rise, with scammers stealing voice clips from people's social media accounts and using them to call their families to extract money.

Other scamming techniques involve sending payment links for purported delivery by Emirates Post, Dubai Police fines and recharging Salik.

Experts have warned that scammers always use deceitful tactics and employ urgency to create panic among their victims. That is why it is important always to stay calm, exercise caution and stay vigilant.

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