Gang arrested in Sharjah over Dh300,000 mobile phone text message scam

Suspects accused of duping residents by claiming they had won prizes

Gulf News

Sharjah: Police have arrested a gang of swindlers who allegedly specialised in scamming the public by sending deceitful text messages on their mobile phones.

The gang which comprised of five Pakistani nationals made Dh300,000 in two months, they said.

A senior official at Sharjah Police said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) managed to analyse a vital piece of information which revealed the activities of the network.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of a 33-year-old, identified as F. Haji, who was allegedly responsible for recruiting gang members from Pakistan and Bangladesh on visit visas.

Police said Haji provided them with shelter and mobile phones, as well as pre-paid phone cards, so they could deceive the public by telling them they had won big prizes.

Phone credit

In order for residents to claim their prizes, they had to send back mobile phone credit ranging from Dh500 up to Dh3,000.

According to police, the accused made Dh4,000 to Dh5,000 daily.

During questioning, the suspect led police to the whereabouts of the other four suspects, who were identified as T, 22, M, 21, F., 26, and A.A.D, 27.

Upon raiding the home of the suspects, police discovered a large number of SIM cards and pre-paid phone cards that were all allegedly registered under a false identity.

Police said the gang would stand in crowded areas, such as Al Rolla and Musallah, and sell the pre-paid phone cards.

All the suspects confessed to carrying out the crimes and gave details about others involved in similar activities.

Sharjah Police urge the public to be vigilant against text scams.

In recent times there has been a spurt in mobile phone as well as online scams targeting residents.

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