The UAE Central Bank has cautioned customers to avoid opening links sent through the social networking app, WhatsApp.
The banking authority in the UAE on Sunday, August 16, warned clients to watch out for fraudulent messages typically sent through WhatsApp that claim to be sent either by the Central Bank (CBUAE) or by other banks operating in the UAE.
UAE Residents Cautioned Against WhatsApp Scams Threatening to ‘Freeze’ your Bank Account
Regarding the issue, the UAE Central Bank clarified that it does not use social networking sites to contact individuals or businesses, and reminded customers to always protect their confidential information, such as bank account details and PINs, reported Gulf News.
In a statement, the banking authority shared, “The Central Bank advises customers to avoid responding to such messages, and not to open any link that may be attached. [By opening the attachment], residents have the possibility of becoming a victim of an electronic scam.”
The CBUAE advised residents not to disclose any information about their bank accounts or any other banking information to the caller.
Regarding the matter, one resident in Dubai almost became a victim to this scam after he received the fraudulent message last week.
Eric Fajut, a Filipino expat, shared his experience on Facebook to warn residents and other expats who may have also received the message.
In his post, Eric shared, “I received a call today on my mobile phone from a person who identified himself as an agent from ENBD. He informed me that I need to update my Emirates ID or my credit card will be blocked for five years. Adding that it’s part of security measures for the upcoming EXPO 2020.”
Feeling uneasy about the unexpected call, Eric remembered some warnings issued by the banks in the UAE. He then politely declined the request of the person on the line, and instead, told them that he would update his details on the nearest branch of his bank. However, the caller insisted that this should be done over the phone.
The caller threatened Eric that he would immediately block his credit card if he fails to update his information through that call.
Then Eric, further suspecting the caller’s motives, asked, “How can I verify that his call was legit?” But the man only responded, “I would not waste my time calling each and everyone if this is just a fraud!”
When Eric refused to give out his bank credentials over the phone, the man only said that he would block his credit card immediately and then hung up the call.
After the call, Eric immediately reported the incident to his bank but to this day, his credit card is still working fine.