Abu Dhabi: Police have warned residents not to fall for con artists who are using the authority’s logo in an attempt to scam people.
In the last few days, residents noticed a pop-up screen that allegedly claims to be from Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Government. The message on the screen states: “Your browser has been blocked due to viewing and dissemination of materials forbidden by law of United Arab Emirates, namely pornography with pedophilia [sic], rape and zoophilia. In order to unlocking you should pay a Dh3000 fine with Visa or MasterCard.”
The message, dated January 3, 2020, goes on to say the browser will be unlocked after the fine payment.
“In case of non-payment of the fine, or your attempts to unlock the device independently, case materials will be transferred to Dubai Police Force for the institution of criminal proceedings against you due to commitment a crime. You have six hours to pay the fine.”
The scam initially targeted UAE residents last year, and has resurfaced once again. Its misspelled words and grammatical errors is a clear sign that the pop-up was not written by an official entity. The misspelled words and grammatical errors is a clear sign that the pop-up was not written by an official entity.
On Tuesday night, the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and Abu Dhabi Police warned residents about the scam, urging residents not to fall for the bogus claims.
Residents were cautioned against clicking on the fake website, and advised against providing credit card details and information. They were also called to ignore any similar types of suspicious websites.
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) had earlier issued a notice to computer users, urging them to regularly update their web browsers to prevent phishing and hackers.
In its monthly report for March 2020, the TRA responded to 34,936 cyber-attacks varying between malware (59 per cent), vulnerabilities (34 per cent) and phishing attacks (6 per cent).
The number of attempted attacks increased by 11 per cent since last February by 3,449 incidents.
Malware was described as “software created for the purpose of destroying, influencing, or illegally obtaining systems and programs. Malware includes viruses, ransomware, spyware, and others.”
Phishing, according to the TRA, is a process in which the criminal impersonates reliable companies or entities to trick the users into submitting their private data such as the password and bank information, through fake messages or websites.