Scammers are on the prowl and targeting many gullible bank customers by sending them such fraudulent messages.
Don’t respond to SMSes purportedly sent by your bank, ‘warning’ that your card would be blocked if you don’t update your details, including debit card number and pin code. It is a trick to empty out cash from your account, the Sharjah Police have warned.
Scammers are on the prowl and targeting many gullible bank customers by sending them such fraudulent messages to trap them.
The rampant fraud has prompted the Sharjah Police to launch an intensified investigation, with the criminal investigation department and cybercrime and electronic frauds department teaming up to crack down on the proliferating gangs.
A top Sharjah Police official said that the action came in the wake of a large number of complaints lodged at various police stations. “Unfortunately, some of the bank clients lost huge amounts after the conmen used the details to purchase from online stores and indulged in other kinds of unauthorised transactions,” he said.
Two of the victims responded to the text message which claimed that their debit card could be blocked for not updating information. They immediately called the number 0544529893. An Asian attended to their call and spoke to them in English and a smattering of Arabic and sought their card numbers, pin codes and personal information. After a few days, they were shocked to receive messages that their cards had been used in making purchases and carrying out other transactions.
The police official cautioned that the bank customers must be alert and not give away any information about their debit/credit cards. He urged them to call their banks and check with them about the text message or email that they receive. They can also call police immediately or contact the nearest police station on non-emergency number 901, he said.
The official pointed out that despite police efforts to intensify awareness among the public about such gangs, residents continue to fall victim to frauds. Police also launched awareness about scammers who call to offer a personal loan to extract banking, credit/debit card or personal details, and drain out cash from the account.
The police have recently distributed literature in which it advised the bank customers to be cautious while withdrawing money from ATM and to take necessary steps to protect their account information.
>An SMS is sent asking you to update your bank information, including debit card number and pin code
>The message says that if you don’t update the details, your card could be blocked
>When you call on the number, a person reiterates the warning
>You end up divulging all your bank details
>The conmen then use the information to make purchases online
Residents speak out
>’I lost almost Dh50,000′
Saliha, a 54-year-old housewife who has lodged a police complaint, said she received a message in Arabic to update her bank details. She got worried about the blocking of her card and asked her son to call the number, as she can’t speak English. Her son called and provided all the information to the person who answered the call in English. “Three days later, I started receiving messages from the bank about transactions made in online purchase and cash withdrawn. I lost almost Dh50,000. I went to the bank and notified them that someone had stolen money from my account. The bank advised me to lodge a complaint with the police,” she said.
>’I reported caller to police’
Sabir Al Nour, a government employee, said that a person called him claiming he is from Emirates Islamic Bank and offered him to give him a loan and credit cards that he could use in any petrol station to get 20 per cent discount. “He sought my personal information and promised to come and meet me and complete the procedures. Next day, I was told by my friend to avoid any such call and first confirm with the bank. When asked, the bank denied that they had any offer. When the person called me again and was insistent, I just informed the police and handed them over his number,” he added.
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BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows. There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock. Roads were blocked by piles of burning…
BEIRUT: Demonstrators blocked roads across parts of Lebanon on Monday in protest at the country’s economic meltdown, days after its currency sank to new lows.
There has been little progress since Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was appointed in September after more than a year of political deadlock.
Roads were blocked by piles of burning tires in central Beirut, Tripoli in northern Lebanon and the southern city of Sidon.
Schools were forced to close in Beirut after the protests made them inaccessible to students. Protesters in the city’s southern suburbs, meanwhile, blocked the road to the airport in front of Al-Aytam station.
Less than 24 hours before the Beirut protests, residents of Ali Al-Nahri, in the Bekaa Valley, launched their own protests, shouting “we are cold and hungry.”
A spokesperson for the protesters said: “We will take to the streets more frequently in the coming days unless the governing authority put a stop to the deteriorating living conditions the Lebanese are facing.”
He added: “The people of Beirut are noble. They are fighting extremely hard for their city and their livelihood.
“They are not thieves, and today’s move does not have any political, electoral, parliamentary or ministerial dimension. Its sole purpose is the livelihood of citizens after a large number of students now go to school without any food.”
In a UNICEF report published last week, the agency said: “More than 30 percent of families have at least one child in Lebanon who skipped a meal, while 77 percent of families say they lack sufficient food and 60 percent of them buy food by accumulating unpaid bills or borrowing money.”
The protests coincided with President Michel Aoun’s visit to Qatar to attend the opening of the FIFA Arab Cup and inaugurate the new Olympic Stadium.
The president discussed Lebanon’s economic meltdown and unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Gulf states during his talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Al-Thani reiterated Qatar’s readiness to help in all areas needed for the rise of Lebanon from the “difficult circumstances it is going through.”
He announced that Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani will visit Beirut in the coming period, to follow up on the developments and provide the country with necessary assistance.
He hoped for “a resolution for the crisis between Lebanon and a number of Gulf states in the near future, especially as Lebanon has always stood by all the Arab and Gulf states.”
Aoun welcomed any “investment from Qatar to implement developmental projects in Lebanon in the area of energy, electricity and banking, where there are many opportunities.”
Qatar will continue to stand by the Lebanese people and to do anything in its power to alleviate their suffering, said the president.
“There was a consensus that this phase needs the brotherly Arab states, especially the Gulf states, to stand by Lebanon,” said Aoun.
He pointed out that the Lebanese-Gulf relations “always were, and must remain, based on mutual fraternity.”
Aoun stressed the need to overcome any defects in these ties, notably because Lebanon desires to the best relations with brotherly states.
“My presence in Doha today only confirms our commitment to those relations and our genuine desire to cooperate on keeping them serene and restoring them to a normal state, thus serving Lebanon and the brotherly Gulf states,” he said.
Aoun’s remarks came as Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi took a firm position against “attempts to change Lebanon in order to impose a new governing formula by force or persuasion.”
In a televised speech broadcast on Monday, Al-Rahi touched on the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, reprimanding judicial authorities, asking: “Is he above the judicial authority?”
Al-Rahi said the country “is highly influenced by Hezbollah.”
He asked: “In contrast, where is the state and where is the president of the republic? Why are they submissive if someone is intimidating us?”
He noted that “the one disrupting the government is practically disrupting the life of the homeland and causing the hunger of citizens.”
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Al-Rahi said the country “is highly influenced by Hezbollah.”
Kuwait Times Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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