Scam master Axact is now resorting to impersonation and blackmail to dupe its victims. Image Credit: Illustrative purpose only

Dubai: Before replying to that ad from your mobile phone about investing in real estate projects abroad, first ensure that it is genuine.  

Authorities in the UAE warned residents over fake advertisements that claim to offer investment opportunities both in the country and abroad.

The Ministry of Interior emphasised that before responding to advertisements, residents should take two simple steps:

  1. Confirm the name of the company and its associated projects
  2. Confirm the real estate’s trade license

“Fake advertisements are circulated through social media and websites in order to promote ownership or the lease of property inside and outside the country,” said the Ministry of Interior.

The ministry pointed out that such types of advertisements are run by scammers who use fake websites and fake social media accounts to con residents.  

To tackle bogus advertisements, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) said that it has taken a number of steps with local telecom operators, which include the ban of promotional SMS from 9pm to 7am, and to provide residents with the option of blocking the number. 

Cybercrime Law

The UAE Cybercrime Law includes a range of violations and penalties, with fines ranging between Dh50,000 and Dh3 million depending on the type and severity of offence.

 

Those caught gaining access to a website, network or system without authorisation are to be imprisoned and fined at least Dh50,000, but fines can reach up to Dh1 million if personal information is stolen or deleted.

Those caught using technology to invade someone else’s privacy, which can even include eavesdropping, copying photos or publishing news, can be jailed for six months and face fines of between Dh150,000 and Dh300,000, according to the state news agency WAM.