UAE warns against fraudulent schemes as scammers impersonate local institutions
Customers of telecom companies in the United Arab Emirates have reported receiving messages that impersonate official bodies, including Emirates Post, Etisalat, and Du.
The intent is to coerce users into opening these deceptive messages, exposing them to potential fraudulent operations.
Telecom Users in the UAE Are Warned of Fraudulent Messages Impersonating Official Bodies
A technical expert has urged vigilance regarding website addresses, emphasizing that government websites in the UAE must end with.gov.ae or.ae for companies. Specifically, he warned against fraudulent messages claiming to be from "Emirates Post" and directed users to websites not ending with the specified titles.
Blocking senders and deleting suspicious messages
The expert advised recipients to block the sender and delete any suspicious messages, emphasizing the importance of recognizing such messages as lures or hunting methods employed by fraudsters.
Examples of fraudulent messages
Reported messages included claims from "Emirates Post" regarding issues with shipments, such as incorrect addresses, lost parcels, and delivery attempts. Additionally, users received messages purportedly from Du, indicating the expiration of reward points and prompting them to enter a provided link.
User Vigilance and Personal Experiences
Several users shared their experiences, with one mentioning receiving messages from numbers outside the country bearing the name "Emirates Post." Despite suspicions, some users refrained from opening the links, later confirming them as fraudulent. Others detected linguistic errors in the messages, raising doubts about their authenticity.
Phishing and fraudulent methods
An information technology expert highlighted the prevalence of phishing as a fraudulent method, wherein recipients are prompted to enter a link. He explained that fraudsters utilize this method due to its speed and ease, especially in comparison to traditional telephone fraud.
Identifying fraudulent messages
The expert outlined signs for non-specialists to detect fraudulent messages, including poor language, sending from external numbers, and a lack of connection to the recipient's service provider or location.
Legal Perspective on Cybercrimes
A legal advisor emphasized the evolving nature of criminal gangs using technology for fraudulent operations. The UAE legislator has continually updated laws related to combating cybercrimes, with strict penalties for offenses such as electronic fraud. Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 addresses electronic fraud, imposing penalties, including imprisonment and fines, for seizing property through deceptive means.
Protective Measures and Reporting
In the event of encountering fraudulent messages, users are advised to take a screenshot or copy the message, inform official authorities, block the sender, and delete the message. It is crucial not to enter unknown links or interact with them. Users can also contact the concerned authority to verify the legitimacy of a message or transaction.
Legal Consequences for Electronic Fraud
Article 40 of Federal Decree Law No. 34 of 2021 specifies penalties for electronic fraud, including imprisonment and fines ranging from 250,000 dirhams to one million dirhams. The law serves as a deterrent against crimes involving the seizure of property and personal data through deceptive electronic means.