Dubai: Have you been at the receiving end of an online fraud? Fact: Cyber-criminals had siphoned off billions from complacent customers in the UAE.
In April, a man was convicted by a Dubai court for hacking at least 15 websites.
The damage inflicted on bank customers by hackers is a serious matter. But now, light-hearted humour is being used to grab public attention, to warn against online fraudsters duping customers in the country.
Dubai Police and Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the region by assets, have collaborated to launch a joint public campaign drive on the dangers of online conmen.
And how. A two-minute Shaggy-inspired video highlights the perils of online banking — especially if one is not mindful.
On Thursday, (June 27) ENBD took to twitter to post a two-minute video, a light-hearted take on the business of online scams in the UAE.
The video was inspired by Jamaican singer Shaggy’s number It Wasn’t Me – released in July 2000.
For the uninitiated, Shaggy (real name: Orville Richard Burrell CD) is a Jamaican musician, singer, DJ and actor, who scored hits with the songs "It Wasn't Me", "Bombastic", "Oh Carolina" among others.
"It Wasn’t Me", is one of Shaggy’s biggest hits, topping the charts across the world when it was released.
The song and music video uses Shaggy’s tune — but with lyrics adapted to drive home the importance of keeping personal details safe.
In the video, there are two protagonists playing the lead — the customer and a manager from the bank. The manager is every bit a rapper. He keeps parotting the line "It wasn’t me" in response to the customers woes of how he was duped by fraudsters pretending to be someone from the bank.
The chorus sees the fraud victim, who plays the role of Shaggy’s collaborator RikRok in the song, singing phrases such as “he messaged me on WhatsApp” and “he called me in the shower”, “he told me I won the lottery”.
To each statement, the bank manager responds “It wasn’t me”.
The two-minute spoof, released on Thursday evening, drew rave reviews.
As soon as the video wast posted on Twitter, people applauded the unorthodox approach to highlight a serious matter. Online scams have has left many in financial direstraits.
Akansha Mehta, a Dubai resident, said she loved the videos.
"It is one of the most ingenious campaigns I have come across so far in the UAE. It will catch many eyeballs and hopefully people will understand the perils of doing an online transaction without verifying the authenticity it."
Sudanshu Agarwal also commended the campaign. "Online scams seem to be rampant, because people fail to check the authenticity of the person claiming to be from a bank. People have to be more mindful."
It wasn't me.