Abu Dhabi: Twenty-four Pakistani men were arrested for allegedly defrauding innocent people of SR35 million (approximately $9.33 million) in prize and update bank account scams, police said.
The suspects, in their 30s and 40s, targeted citizens and residents by sending text messages that included fake notices, such as winning financial prizes, or messages requesting them to update their bank accounts, and after they disclosed them to the fraudsters, fraudulent financial transactions were executed, Major Khaled Al Kredis, spokesperson of the Riyadh Police, said.
Police seized in their possession 73 mobile phones to carry out their crimes, and 67,506 riyals, police said.
The men were remanded in custody, pending moving to the Public Prosecution for further questioning and trial, police said.
• Do only use a company’s official website or app to update account information such as passwords or payment methods.
• Do contact the company directly, through an official website or customer service line, if you have concerns about an email or text message you received.
• Do use antivirus software and keep it up to date. Activate firewalls and other settings that block malicious files.
• Don’t open documents or download files from suspicious emails. They could install malware on your device.
• Don’t click on links or open attachments to “update,” “unlock” or “verify” an account. Go to the company’s website or app to check your account status.
• Don’t click on a link or call a phone number in a text “alert” to verify your identity or account status.
• Don’t reveal personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited email. Legitimate companies will not ask you to provide sensitive data in an email.
Police warned people not to reveal personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited email. “Legitimate companies will not ask you to provide sensitive data in an email and legitimate sweepstakes don’t make you pay a fee or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning — that includes paying “taxes,” “shipping and handling charges,” or “processing fees” to get your prize.
There’s also no reason to give someone your checking account number or credit card number in response to a sweepstakes promotion,” police said.