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Be wary of messages claiming you won a cash prize or lottery.

Be wary of messages claiming you won a cash prize or lottery.

As reported in the national media, a number of UAE residents have fallen victim to phishing emails and lottery scams recently. Fraudsters have been contacting residents via telephone, SMS or email and claiming that they have won a lottery prize or large sum of cash. Most often the unsuspecting victims are asked to divulge the below information in order to claim their prize:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your credit or debit card number, CVV code on the back of the card; expiry date
  • The details of a SMS one time password (OTP) that the bank has or will send to you
  • Your Internet and Mobile Internet banking log in name and password
  • Your mobile handset & SIM card information

The fraudsters then use this information to make online purchases, as well as transfer money out of the victimís bank account.

Stay alert when:

  • You receive a telephone call, e-mail, text message or communication on social media saying you have won a prize.
  • The caller/sender claims you are a winner from your phone number being chosen at random
  • The unexpected prize might be linked to a company or a local telephone service provider in order to make it sound more legitimate.
  • To claim your prize you are asked to divulge personal information or pay a fee.

How should you safeguard yourself?

  • Never disclose your personal or banking information, SMS OTPís, internet banking credentials to unknown persons, even if they claim to be calling from legitimate companies.
  • Never disclose your mobile or internet banking login name and password.
  • If someone asks you to pay money up-front in order to receive a prize or winnings, itís almost always a scam.
  • Verify the identity of the contact by calling the relevant organization directly Ė find them through an independent source such as a phone book or online search. Do not use the contact details provided in the message sent to you.
  • Do an internet search on any of the details of the competition Ė many scams can be identified this way.
  • Never send money or give credit card, online account details, or copies of important personal documents to anyone you donít know or trust.
  • Avoid anything that requests payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, and pre-loaded airtime or cards.

We trust this information helps you to be vigilant towards such fraud attempts.

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