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Dh34,000 cellphone bills after man loses wallet

Stolen Emirates ID was used to buy 10 SIM cards, says executive

Image Credit: © xpress/ abhishek sengupta
Identity theft. Manoj Nair showing his new Emirates ID and the complaint he filed with the telecom operator after getting a text notification.
XPRESS

Dubai: A man who lost his wallet in a crowded bus over a year ago is still paying the price for it.

Indian Manoj Nair, 38, has over Dh30,000 in unpaid bills – more than six times his monthly salary – after he claims as many as 10 Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards were allegedly bought using his stolen Emirates ID.

“I never had a number other than the one I have been using since I arrived in the country 10 years ago. I am a victim of fraud, but despite notifying the telecom company over six months ago I am yet to get a solution,” says a frustrated Nair who earns Dh4,500 as an administrative coordinator in a Dubai firm.

Nair claims his pocket was picked on December 30, 2015, in a public bus while returning from work, but it wasn’t until six months before he got to know he had phone bills against his name. “I thought I had taken precautions, having blocked my debit card and applied for a new Emirates ID, but how wrong I was. Little did I know that someone could use my old ID to get post-paid SIM cards.”

He said he was first alerted to the scam in June 2016 when he got a text message saying that an account number in his name had Dh1,099.4 outstanding.

“I visited the telecom firm’s business centre where records showed that my old Emirates ID had been used to buy several SIM cards. At that time the bill was around Dh13,000. Today it has crossed Dh34,000,” said the Satwa resident.

“Today I am scared to even travel because I can’t be sure if my ID has not been used for other fraudulent activities without my knowledge,” adds Nair.

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