WhatsApp app on a smartphone. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: The UAE Central Bank has issued a fresh warning to customers not to open links sent through the social networking site WhatsApp.

On Sunday, the banking authority cautioned clients to be on the alert for fraudulent messages that claim to be sent either by the Central Bank (CBUAE) or by other banks operating in the UAE.

“The Central Bank advises customers to avoid responding to such messages, and not to open any link that may be attached. [By opening the attachment], residents have the possibility of becoming a victim of an electronic scam,” said the authority in a statement.

CBUAE stressed that it does not use social networking sites to contact individuals or businesses, and reminded customers to always protect their confidential information, such as bank account details and PIN numbers.

“CBUAE advises residents not to disclose any information about their bank accounts or any other banking information to the caller,” it said.

One resident in Dubai dodged a bullet after he became one of the recipients to receive the fraudulent message last week.

Eric Fajut, from the Philippines, shared the ordeal on Facebook as a cautionary message to residents who may have also received the fake messages.

“I received a call today on my mobile phone from a person identified himself as an agent from ENBD. He informed me that I need to update my Emirates ID or my credit card will be blocked for five years. Adding that it’s part of security measures for the upcoming EXPO 2020,” wrote Fajut.

Scam message on UAE social media
Filipino resident Eric Fajut narrowly missed becoming a victim of fraud. Image Credit: Facebook/ Courtesy: Eric Fajut

“Immediately I felt suspicious to the call since it was made on a cellphone. I remember also some warnings issued by the bank. I politely told them that I will update my info to the nearest branch but he insisted that I should do it over the phone. He warned me that he would immediately block my credit card. I asked him, how can I verify that his call was legit and he answered, ‘I would not waste my time calling each and everyone if this is just a fraud!’”

“I said I’m not going to give him any info and replied that he would block my CC immediately. He hung up the call. I reported the incident immediately to the bank hotline and CID. My CC still works,” he added.