Abu Dhabi: A gang of 24 Asians have been arrested and referred to public prosecution for running a mobile scam, it was announced on Wednesday. The fraudsters called victims to tell them they had won half a million dirhams through competitions supposedly run by reputable companies, but first the victims were told they needed to transfer some money via their phones to another account to process the prize payment. However, once the criminals had received the transfer they wouldn’t reply to calls.

The accused had provided personal details and mobile phone numbers to win confidence of their victims. It was noted that the phone numbers of the accused ended in similar digits to numbers owned by the company supposedly calling them, which added to the legitimacy of the ruse.

The prosecution ordered telecommunication companies to take necessary steps to secure the accounts of people when they transfer mobile phone credit and money through phones.

All of the accused have confessed to the crime.

The prosecution urged all residents to be cautious of such fraudsters and not to fall prey to their tricks.

WHAT TO DO IF THEY CALL YOU?

First cross-check with the company that they claim to be representing to see if the prize and competition is in fact real. Usually a person only wins a prize when they have taken part in a competition, so if you haven’t entered such a competition view the call with suspicion. Also beware that big companies running promotions or big money prizes publicise the competition to introduce their products to the public, so if you haven’t heard of the competition it probably doesn’t exist.