A Dubai resident got the shock of his life when he found out that he lost $1 million (Dh3.67 million) in bank transactions he knew nothing about.
The man was travelling outside the country and upon his return to Dubai, he was met with bank letters stating that money transfers have been carried out from his account, police authorities said.
He discovered that his registered SIM card number was replaced with another one without his knowledge. Through the new number, the scammers were able to make transactions on his behalf.
Brigadier Abdul Rahim bin Shafi'i, director of Al Barsha police station in Dubai, said that since a similar incident was reported recently, they launched an investigation that led to the arrest of four suspects who may have masterminded the modus operandi. The probe showed that the gang had links with others outside the country.
Another recent victim lost Dh800,000.
In both cases, Shafi'i said the SIM cards were registered under certain company names and the suspects appeared to have used fake papers and trade licences to get the victims' mobile numbers and have them replaced.
Such types of frauds, he said, require scammers to get as much information as possible about the target victim. Hackers may send phishing e-mails, which may appear to have come from banks or insurance companies.
Through bogus mails and websites, they would ask victims to provide personal data like their names, birth dates, addresses and phone numbers, Shafi'i said.
"Unfortunately, many people cannot distinguish between real and deceptive e-mails," he added, urging the public to be wary of such schemes.
By Amira Agarib
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