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Dubai: An elderly man lost Dh200,000 after a professed sorcerer convinced him to pay money in order to remove a spell that he claimed was adversely affecting his health and wealth.

According to Colonel Omar Bin Hamad, Deputy Director of Anti-Economic Crimes Department at Dubai Police, the victim was planning to part with more money to the scammer but a relative informed the police.

“Dubai Police received a call about a man who had transferred Dh200,000 to a person in an Arab country to remove the so-called spell which he was told was damaging his health and wealth,” said Col Bin Hamad.

Dubai Police contacted the elderly man, who admitted to receiving a message from the suspect posing as a sorcerer and backed up his claims with personal details. “The suspect claimed that he could remove the spell for Dh200,000.”

The victim was scared enough to transfer the money to the suspect, who then asked for more. “The suspect asked for more money claiming the there is a bigger spell that needs to be removed too. The victim told his relative who advised him not to respond to the suspect,” Col Bin Hamad added.

The elderly man was insisting on sending more money to the suspect when the relative alerted Dubai Police.

Police identified the suspect in an Arab country and took legal procedures through international cooperation.

“We spoke with the victim and convinced him that it is a scam,” said Col Bin Hamad.

Dubai Police urged the public to be careful when receiving social media messages or emails from strangers and not to fall prey to such scams.