financial fraud
While the advertising and marketing for such platforms can be quite attractive, the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has asked people to beware of unlicensed platforms. Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: May be it was a video that popped up on your feed. Or perhaps a phone call from a new number.

“Online trading is the fastest way to grow your wealth,” the person on the other end declares.

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While the advertising and marketing for such platforms can be quite attractive, the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has asked people to beware of unlicensed platforms.

In a post on its official social media channels, TDRA posted a warning about how some fraudulent ads use media content and famous influencers to promote links like trading opportunities and exploit people’s trust.

Showing a video of a person promoting a trading platform with the pitch: “Invest an amount of just Dh300 to earn more than Dh3,500 per month”, the post informed people of how such ads may exploit users.

“Some people fall victim to fraud, so check any link before you register. You can communicate with official authorities in the country to check trading platforms,” the advisory noted.

Do not deal with these online trading platforms

If you were wondering how you can find out whether or not you should deal with a specific trading platform, there’s an easy solution. The UAE’s Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has a webpage that provides a list of entities that you should not invest with, as they operate without the relevant license, authorisation or approval from the SCA.

You can find the list of these entities here:

Last year, the SCA also launched an awareness campaign to combat unlicensed financial activities in the UAE. During the awareness campaign, the SCA informed individuals looking to make an investment to first ensure that the company is licensed for the purpose of investment for which it reaches out to you, whether by phone messages, social media messages or websites. This can be checked through the SCA's website and the other approved official channels.

Like the SCA, the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) – which is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) – also has a dedicated web page for all the alerts it has issued warning people of potential scams here:

Authorities also warn investors that some companies may impersonate legitimate companies using their name and logo to defraud people. To avoid such scammers, the SCA warns investors to verify the identity of the entity that is dealing with them before signing any agreements or making any financial transfers. As previously reported by Gulf News, you should always check the complete URL of the website, to make sure it is the official website of the organisation, and not a fraudulent website.

If you want to know which trading platform is apt for you, you can check out our detailed guide here.

SCA’s alert to investors
- Be alert and cautious about the fraudulent methods followed by companies promoting their services by impersonating real companies licensed by the regulatory authorities. They may fabricate or forge documents and commercial and professional licenses. The SCA warned investors from dealing with any unlicensed financial activity in order to maintain their saving, making sure that the promoted financial product is licensed for trading in the financial markets in the UAE, and making sure that the licences granted for the licensed companies are consistent with the promoted activity or service. Additionally, the investors and individuals must verify the information and documents received by them from companies through regulatory authorities and official channels before investing with them.
- Refrain from sharing personal data or transferring money to any entity except after verifying the information submitted to you.
- Promptly inform the competent regulatory authority after discovering or being exposed to any fraudulent transaction.
- Beware of the messages promising quick huge profits in unsecured investments. You must choose the investment type that is suitable to your capabilities in consultation with a licensed and reliable financial consultant.

List of licensed companies

You can also check if a trading platform is licensed in the UAE, by checking the list of companies licensed by the SCA, on this web page:

You can also find the list of brokerage firms licensed by the Dubai Financial Market, to buy or sell DFM and Nasdaq Dubai listed securities here:

If you do find yourself to be a victim of online fraud, you can raise the complaint with the UAE’s eCrime platform, or through other official online platforms provided by the UAE’s government. Read our complete guide here.