Beware of This VAT Refund Message Scam in UAE

Published November 28th, 2018 - 07:01 GMT
Emirates NBD has issued a statement to its customers warning that they should be vigilant of this phishing attack. (Shutterstock)
Emirates NBD has issued a statement to its customers warning that they should be vigilant of this phishing attack. (Shutterstock)

Fraudsters are targeting UAE residents and tourists in a scam following the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT) refund system for tourists on November 18.

The phishing scam has come to light following emails being sent out to customers of a local bank.

Emirates NBD has issued a statement to its customers warning that they should be vigilant of this phishing attack.

"The email 'VAT Refund Notification' is a Phishing email. We urge you to be vigilant and check the source before clicking any link or file in emails," the lender said in a statement sent to its customers.

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"We urge you to be highly vigilant and always check the source before clicking on any links or attachments in e-mails. Emirates NBD would never ask you for your personal details such as account number, online or mobile banking credentials, and or debit or credit card details such as username, password, PIN or the three-digit CVV number," it said in the statement.

The phishing email says: "After the last audition/calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a VAT refund."

It then advises the phishing target that in order to access the VAT refund they should "download the VAT Refund Form attached to this e-mail and open the form and follow the instructions on your screen".

The latest phishing scam follows a similar one earlier this month when emails we sent out to the bank's clients ahead of the introduction of the VAT refund system.

The UAE's Federal Tax Authority has explained that tourists will receive refunds through a special device at the departure point by submitting tax invoices for their purchases from the outlets registered in the scheme, along with copies of their passport and credit card. Tourists can either recover VAT in cash in UAE dirhams or have it transferred to their credit card.


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