Man talking on the phone. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Pixabay

Police arrest 25 in Abu Dhabi over phone scamAbu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Police on Saturday said it seized three gangs of 25 Asian suspects who were involved in fraud and scams over the telephone, with the operation also involving the Sharjah and Ajman Police.

According to the Abu Dhabi Police, the suspects would call residents with the intent of retrieving their private banking details.

Brigadier General Imran Ahmed Al Mazrouei, Director of Criminal Investigation Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said the three gangs were arrested separately, with the first two gangs numbering 14 suspects arrested in Sharjah. The third gang consisting of 11 members were arrested in the emirate of Ajman.

Al Mazrouei said that a number of mobile phones and SIM cards that were used by the suspects were seized during the arrests.

Al Mazrouei called on the public to be vigilant and to not fall victim to such gangs by revealing their bank information. He pointed out that banks do not ask for updates or such information through the phone by calling customers, and that residents should only update any information directly with their bank.

Al Mazrouei said that there have been a number of recent incidents involving victims whom have fallen for these scams, believing their bank accounts to have been frozen and proceeding to give out their banking details over the phone and to the scammers.

In April this year Abu Dhabi Police carried out another major bust of phone scammers in cooperation with Ajman Police, with 24 suspects being arrested. The gang would scam residents promising fake cash prizes. Victims were asked to transfer their telephone recharge cards as charges for receiving the winning cash that never existed.

In February, two other gangs of Asian men were arrested, with one of them running a sophisticated operation which saw members receiving a salary of Dh1,200 per month plus incentives based on the number of people they scammed. Many of the suspects were brought into the country by the ring leaders to take part in the scheme.

How to avoid getting scammed

  • Stay cautious when getting phone calls or text messages from numbers you don’t recognise
  • Never give out your personal banking or credit/debit card details over the phone
  • Verify the source of the call
  • Block suspicious numbers