Dubai: If you‘ve got a forwarded WhatsApp message which says that the Ministry of Labour is giving away Dh4,000 to workers, then be warned, it’s a hoax.
The widely circulated message says people who have worked between 1990 and 2020 have the right to withdraw Dh4,000 from the UAE’s Ministry of Labour.
The message is fake as the Ministry of Labour has made no such announcement. A similar version of the message has been circulated in India where people have been promised Rs120,000 (Dh5,844.96) from the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The Indian government has debunked the claim.
The purported message from the UAE’s Ministry of Labour contains a URL asking users to click on it to check if their name is on the list. Those who fall for the bait are led to a website called labour.rebajaslive.com where they are required to answer three easy questions.
Users are advised not to click on the URL as the website is rated low on a trust score by Scamadviser which helps identify if a webshop is fraudulent or infected with malware, or conducts phishing. The dodgy website was set up about eight months ago and its owner is hiding his identity using a paid service.
Clear and present danger
Phishing and malware attacks have surged since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as more people work on home internets. Cyber experts say this makes them an easy target for hackers.
According to a report from Google, these nefarious actors are making the most of the situation. Nothing illustrates this better than the sudden increase in the number of active phishing websites. There were 149,195 such websites in January, according to Google. That number nearly doubled in February to 293,235 websites. By March, it had swelled to 522,495 — a 350 per cent increase since the beginning of the year.