Dubai Police seized significant amounts of money, and a number of mobile phones, laptops and SIM cards used to execute these scams. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Police, represented by the General Department of Criminal Investigation, has arrested 494 individuals involved in 406 phone fraud cases targeting bank customers under the guise of “updating banking information” over the past year.

The fraudsters utilised various deceptive methods, including phone calls, emails, SMS and social media links, to trick victims and access their savings and bank accounts. Dubai Police seized significant amounts of money, and a number of mobile phones, laptops and SIM cards used to execute these scams.

Dubai Police reiterated that fraud is a criminal offence, punishable under the UAE Federal Penal Code of 1987 and the Federal Decree-Law No. 34 of 2021 On Countering Rumors and Cybercrimes, ensuring strict offender penalties.

Brigadier Harib Al Shamsi, Acting Director of the General Department for Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police, urged the community to guard against revealing banking details or credit card information to anyone purporting to be from a financial institution. He highlighted the scammers’ tactics of falsely claiming that the victims’ accounts or cards were blocked or frozen to defraud them, emphasising the critical importance of ignoring such fraudulent communications.

He clarified that banks never solicit banking information updates via telephone. “Customers are advised to update their details directly through the banks’ branches, official customer service representatives, or authenticated banking applications.”

He further urged victims of such scams to promptly report incidents to the authorities through Dubai Police’s various platforms, including the Police Eye feature on the Dubai Police App, the eCrime platform, the Smart Police Station (SPS), or by calling the 901 contact centre.

Efficient response

Colonel Dr Khalid Aref Al Sheikh, Director of the Anti-Economic Crimes Department, highlighted the department’s efficiency in addressing numerous fraud alerts related to phone scams targeting bank accounts last year.

He confirmed, “The dedicated efforts of our officers and specialists have led to the apprehension of perpetrators, demonstrating Dubai Police’s commitment to legal action against such crimes.”

He said Dubai Police remains vigilant and prepared to respond to any fraud reports, underscoring the substantial investment in developing a skilled national workforce capable of providing round-the-clock support to the community, with the overarching goal of ensuring public safety and security.