A joint police operation conducted to track down alleged phone scammers in the UAE resulted in the arrest of two phone scam gangs, and a total of 28 expats involved in the fraudulent activity in the country.
The Abu Dhabi Police, in coordination with the Dubai and Ajman Police, infiltrated the apartments of two phone scam groups composed of expats operating in the country.
[VIDEO] 28 Expats Arrested For Involvement in Phone Scam in UAE
In a press conference on Tuesday (February 11), the Abu Dhabi Police revealed that it had arrested two phone scam gangs in co-operation with the Dubai and Ajman Police forces, as shared in a report by the Khaleej Times.
According to the Abu Dhabi Police, the phone scammers duped their unsuspecting victims by obtaining their bank details.
After gaining access to the personal bank information of their targets, the fraudsters would siphon off all their victims’ money in the bank.
During the raid, authorities found several phones in the flat of the fraudsters. These will be used by the police as evidence in court.
Commenting on this development, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Salem Huwaimal Al Amiri, Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, reminded the public to be wary of such on-going modus in the country.
Furthermore, Al-Amiri urged the public to maintain the confidentiality of their financial activities, avoid engaging with anonymous numbers and report anomalous activity to the authorities.
Since last year, thirteen phone scam gangs involving 142 people were arrested in Abu Dhabi for duping residents of their cash after illegally obtaining their bank details, as per police reports. The fraudsters, who were mostly Asians, were caught in various operations from 2019 until February 2020.
Here is a video report posted by the Abu Dhabi Police via their Instagram page:
Scammers Call Potential Victims Informing Them They Had Won a Prize
In a separate report, an unidentified phone scam victim has come forward to share his experiences and raise awareness among the public in a video posted by Abu Dhabi Police’s Instagram page.
While it is not verified that this incident was caused by the same group that was raided by police, here is an example of a phone scam in the country.
In the video that the anonymous victim shared, he narrated that he had received an audio message from his wife in February of 2018 saying that they had won a cash prize worth AED 200,000.
His wife instructed him to call the Emirati number she sent over so that he could claim the prize, which would be deposited into his bank account.
The man explained that he called the number and asked whether the information his wife told him was true because he couldn’t believe what was happening.
After the person on the other line assured him that he had indeed won the cash, he then asked him to send over front and back copies of his ID and ATM card so that he could deposit the money into his account.
However, when the man checked his account, he was surprised to find out that there was money even deducted instead of being deposited.
Fortunately, after the man had promptly reported the incident to the anti-fraud unit of the Abu Dhabi Police, he was able to get all his money back.
Based on what had happened to him, the man offered the following pieces of advice to the members of the public:
- Always check with your banks directly regarding any activity about your accounts.
- Always remember: no bank ever asks for details like account numbers, ID, or any other banking information from their customers.
- Do not respond to any calls or messages from unknown numbers.