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Beware of street scams during Eid holidays

Have you been a victim of these con artists?

  • Police found 115 SIM cards inside the two flats occupied by the suspects, who paid money to strangers to obtaiImage Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Xpress
  • Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News archives
Gulf News

Dubai: Authorities expect fraudsters to step up street scams as Ramadan ends and UAE residents prepared to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr.

Dubai Municipality said on Sunday that at least 70 scam artists and beggars have been removed from the streets since the start of Ramadan.

“The anti-begging campaigns that were launched by Dubai Municipality in cooperation with Dubai Police, the Department of Residency and Foreigners Affairs and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities resulted in the seizure of 70 beggars since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan and until yesterday,” the municipality said in a statement.

“It is worth mentioning that this campaign will continue during Eid Al Fitr to prevent the beggars from appealing to the emotions of people,” said an official.

Dubai Police said the number of beggars appears to have dropped this year by 40 per cent and that its anti-begging task force is working to prevent residents from being duped out of their money.

People can call the task force directly on 052-2106969 or report these con artists to 800 CID (800243).



Italian suit scam

It always starts with two men who appear lost and asking for directions to Shaikh Zayed Road after leaving an apparent fashion convention in Dubai. Next, the snake-oil men — who say they’re from Italy — offer cheap Italian suits from the trunk of a car for as little as Dh200. Duped customers later find that the ‘Armani’ suit they got for a bargain is nothing but a cheap knock-off from the Far East.

LAST SEEN: Scamming people parked behind Dubai International Convention Centre


Out-of-petrol father

One of the most successful scams out here, it involves a harried, sweating father with six kids in the car who asks you for Dh100 in petrol money so that they can go home. The car always has out-of-town licence plates and this guy probably has more money in his pocket than you and me.

LAST SEEN: Operating in many areas of Dubai from Deira to Jumeirah grocery store parking lots


Open-wound scam

And who can forget the bedraggled man with the long face who, wincing with pain, asks unwitting victims for a little cash to pay for medicine to treat a gaping gash on his forearm. For effect, he may pull up his sleeve or lift his shirt to show you more ghastly gashes that need immediate medical help.

LAST SEEN: Scaring the living daylights of people in Al Barsha by shaken expats


iPhone switch

A man approaches you with a new iPhone, shows the receipt and says he needs money to pay his rent. He agrees to sell the phone for Dh1,000.

At the end of the day, however, those who fall for the ruse are left with a piece of junk in a bait-and-switch move and end up with a Dh200 Chinese copy of the iPhone.

LAST SEEN: Operating in Bur Dubai and on Shaikh Zayed Road


Woman with sick child

A female con artist approaches her victims and will ask if they can loan her money to help pay for her sick child suffering from a near-fatal illness (who will die within days if the so-called mother cannot raise money to pay for the child’s care). The woman scammer will give her mobile number to trick victims into believing they can call her later to get their money back. However, the number soon goes out of order.

LAST SEEN: Operating across Dubai.