Online scammers are getting boulder: UAE man pays thousands for… a rock?!
This is not a watch. (Shutterstock)
After splurging Dh14,700 in an online auction on what he thought was a gold watch, a shopper realised he was scammed when he received a box with nothing but a rock.
The shopper, who works as a manager at an insurance company, reported the crime, saying that he fell victim after receiving a package by mail containing a box with no logo and a small rock.
The shopper had used his credit card to pay online for a gold watch from an international auction.
In a statement, Abu Dhabi Police warned residents against using insecure websites to shop online, urging them to report any incidents of cybercrimes. The police said that online shoppers should trace the companies they shop from online to make sure they are not fake.
Checking a company’s address, phone number, and fax number as well as shopping from companies that people are already familiar with can help reduce the risk of online scams, the police said.
Having an online shopping card with a certain limit rather than using a credit card, and saving a copy of the shopping transaction also help reduce the risk of cybercrimes.
Residents are urged to email the police at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are victims of such crimes.
While law enforcement agencies from across the world have joined forces to end online fraud, an increasing number of cybercrimes is being reported internationally.
In 2015, Dubai Police’s Cyber Investigation Department handled 1,820 cybercrimes — up from the 1,581 crimes handled in 2014, with most cases being sexual or financial blackmail.
In the UAE, as per the country’s Cybercrime Law No 5 of 2012, those found guilty of such crimes can face punishments that could go up to a life sentence and/or a fine between Dh50,000 and Dh3 million depending on how severe the crime is.