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The Most Common Bank Scams in Dubai

Hackers and thieves have stepped up their efforts to take United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents their money through financial scams. The purpose: to steal the victims’ savings by obtaining their bank account numbers, credit or debit cards, and passwords.

The “modus operandi” can occur with different malicious programs (malware), such as ransomware. But they can also occur through phishing attacks or social engineering that is applied to the theft of confidential data through various tricks in order to get the users themselves to provide the password to bank accounts, emails, online profiles in social networks and even WhatsApp.

The creativity of pirates has no limits.Some examples of their illicit strategies are:
– Calls or messages on WhatsApp and other social networks -impersonating banks-, warning that their credit cards are going to be frozen for security reasons. They ask to verify all their correct data, by calling two telephone numbers within 24 hours.
– Fake emails asking you to reveal personal information such as passwords or bank details.
– Cloned sites: fraudsters prepare a website identical to the legitimate one, which may be an exchange house, and propagate it by different means.
– Fake support teams: they pretend to be the support team of some legitimate platform, including exchange houses.
– Gifts on social networks: it is quite similar to phishing, since it involves using imposter accounts on networks to deceive users.
– In the case of companies, a local Emirati entity, apparently existing, offers financing to foreign companies, through an instrumental company (Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV) to be created in a free zone. For the constitution of said SPV, the company would have to pay fees of approximately 20,000 euros.

Tips to prevent scams:
– Sign debit and credit cards as soon as you receive them and follow the details of the security instructions.
– Protect the card and security data such as card number, expiration date or CVV number.
– Do not allow anyone else to use your card(s) and never reveal your PIN to anyone, even if it is bank personnel.
– Always verify transaction details, such as currency and amount, in the verification PIN message.
– Cut invalid and unused cards into at least 6 pieces.
– Keep cards visible at all times while in a public place.
– Regularly check the transaction alert and monthly statement received from the bank.
– Do not download attachments that arrive by mail or message with supposed benefits.
– Have secure passwords that are not associated with numbers and common names, and do not use the same ones for all accounts.

In any case, always file the respective complaints both with your bank and with the police. If you need help with filing a complaint, contact us. It will be a pleasure to help you.