UAE | Crime

Suspect accused of tempting victims with fancy mobile numbers caught by Abu Dhabi Police

Accused allegedly obtained tens of thousands of dirhams by promising special mobile numbers

  • By Nada Al Taher, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:02 June 25, 2013
  • Gulf News

Suspect accused of tempting victims with fancy mobile numbers caught by Abu Dhabi PoliceAbu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Police have finally caught the man accused of conning people of tens of thousands of dirhams in the capital by tempting unsuspecting residents with the possibility of possessing a ‘special mobile number’.

The 27-year-old unemployed Arab suspect, A.R.K., used SMS and audio messages, according to police, to lure mobile phone users into transferring cash to him in exchange for obtaining a fancy mobile phone number.

“The suspect targeted victims across the country using Emirati aliases and fake names. Even after falling for his scam, many residents did not file reports against the accused for fear that doing so may place them in a negative social light,” said Colonel Ajil Ali Abdullah Al Junaibi, Director of the Western Region Police Directorate.

The accused has been the subject of several complaints regarding fraud although it is still unclear what became of the money he allegedly obtained from the scams. “In one incident, the suspect was even able to receive up to Dh 40,000 in cash from one of his victims whom he met face-to-face,” Al Junaibi added.

The suspect reportedly told interested buyers that he could issue the number for them upon approaching any of the UAE’s telecommunication service providers, and claimed that he needed a replacement SIM card for a lost one. However, he claimed that he was out of the country therefore his alleged representative would only be able to complete the operation on the suspect’s behalf after he received the money transfer.

Victims only found out about the scam once they approached a service centre to receive the SIM card promised to them only to find that they were not entitled to do so.

Police reports reveal that by then the suspect would switch off his mobile phone and proceed to the next victim.

Al Junaibi urged residents not to fall for such schemes. He also added that upon being contacted by such promoters, interested buyers should contact the telecommunication service providers to ensure the validity of the offers being made.

Al Junaibi advised all residents to report any such incidents to authorities as soon as they occur because doing so speeds up the process of apprehending criminals.

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