Dubai: A man has lost Dh200,000 to mobile phone scamsters in a bid to win Dh1 million prize, according to Dubai Police.
The victim complained that he transferred nearly Dh200,000 using the recharge cards in denominations of Dh500 each in a hope of winning a ‘prize’ of Dh1 million promised to him by the telephone scamster.
He received the call and was told that he had won Dh1 million and was asked to transfer money through mobile phone Al Wasl recharge cards. The caller disconnected and disappeared after the ‘victim’ got suspicious and demanded his money back. Police said the suspect is still at large.
The police helpline 901 received more than 144 calls in one week reporting such fraudulent callers. Captain Mohammad Ali Obaid , head of the call centre 901 said,
Police have warned people not to fall prey to scamsters who call to inform that they have won prizes that may exceed in millions of dirhams.
Police said they have received several complains from public regarding fraudulent callers who managed to trick them and took money promising them big prizes in cash.
Even after over three years of scam warnings from etisalat, SIM card scamsters are still at it tricking people on cash prizes.
The receiver of the call is normally asked by the caller to follow a process before receiving the prize money. This involved, first, to disconnect the phone call and call back the caller on his number. The person was then asked by the caller to note down what he described as a “lucky number: 89971” besides a “bank coupon number”.
The next step required recharging of the etisalat wasel prepaid SIM card with a sum of Dh500 from any “grocery store” — with the clear advise that adding credit online wouldn’t do. The caller said once this was done, etisalat would send a text message revealing the bank cheque details and a pin number, which would need to be presented to another etisalat employee at a bank branch, along with an identity proof, in order to claim the prize.
If the ‘victim’ demands proof from the caller that the call was a genuine one, upon which he asked the employee to check the first few digits of the serial number on the etisalat SIM card, which “surprisingly” tallied with the so-called lucky number (89971) he gave out at the beginning of the call.
Etisalat earlier said it has taken action in the past to stop such activities and continues to do so.
Etisalat has issued several warnings to customers through different communication channels informing them about this kind of scam from fraudsters who pose as etisalat’s employees and inform customers they have won cash prizes.