Don't fall for cyber criminals masquerading as government departments, UAE ministry says

Online fraudsters will claim to be from a trusted public agency to convince you to share your personal or financial information

People have been urged to be aware of the tricks that cyber criminals use. EPA
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UAE authorities have warned the public to be wary of online fraudsters posing as official organisations to con people out of cash.

The Ministry of Interior issued an alert on Twitter about cyber criminals using the logos of police and other public departments to convince people to share their personal or financial information.

In such cases, the fraudsters use a real company’s name or logo and then link it to a fake website.

People unwittingly click on the link, which redirects them to the fake website where they are asked to enter their account or credit card details or other sensitive information.

And when fraudsters obtain this information, they can use it to gain access to the victim's bank account, make fraudulent purchases or even steal the person's identity.

“These messages appear to be from a government agency and have a secret OTP number and fraudulent links to trap people,” the ministry wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“The ministry sends messages through official channels and people should report such incidents.”

Authorities in the country regularly issue warnings to residents to protect them from being the targets of cyber criminals.

Last month, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) warned customers to be wary of bogus messages asking them to pay their bills, answer questions or forward messages to friends to stand a chance of winning a prize.

“Dewa urges customers and society members to avoid opening attachments from unofficial sources or clicking on unknown links,” an email sent to all customers read.

“This may enable hackers to access your personal information, including your credit cards.”

A 2020 report by computer security company Kaspersky said that more than 600,000 phishing attacks were recorded during the coronavirus pandemic in the UAE while 2.57 million were reported in the Middle East.

Updated: June 21, 2022, 3:36 AM
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