Dubai Police arrest scammers who sold fake English language certificates for Dh10,000

Maj Gen Al Jallaf said the scam profited from victims feeling too ashamed to report it

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Sep 22: Police on Patrol on one of the road in Bur Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) *** Local Caption ***  PS004- POLICE.jpgPS004- POLICE.jpg
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Dubai Police have arrested three scammers who sold fake English language certificates for Dh10,000.

The three UAE residents, who were working in different occupations, offered fake International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificates on social media for Dh10,000.

Dubai Police said people would wire Dh5,000 as an advance payment to the scammers who would then book a genuine test and ask the purchaser to sit the exam.

Any tip to police can prevent a series of crimes
Maj Gen Jamal Al Jallaf, Dubai Police CID

The remaining Dh5,000 would be paid following the test, after which they received what turned out to be fake certificate.

“The scammers were encouraging the victim to go for the exam with a promise to pass the test even if the victim’s English level was too low,” said Maj Gen Jamal Al Jallaf, director of Dubai Police's Criminal Investigation Department.

“After two days of the test, they would send a text message to congratulate the person that they had passed and to transfer the rest of the money.”

They would discover later that they had failed the test, and that the certificate was fake.

Maj Gen Al Jallaf said the scammers profited from victims feeling too ashamed to report it.

“The problem was victims avoid alerting the police about the scam and some denied they paid money, feeling embarrassed and also afraid thinking they might be involved in an illegal act,” said Maj Gen Al Jallaf.

However, one person who had lost Dh10,000 came forward and reported the scam to Dubai Police.

The force set a trap and arrested the three suspects, whose nationalities and ages were not disclosed.

“The scammers were manipulating the victims who wanted to pass the test without studying to use the certificate to get a job or immigration,” said Maj Gen Al Jallaf.

He urged residents to report any criminal behaviour through the e-crime platform and offered an assurance that they would not be blamed for a crime.

“What matters is the crackdown on crime and providing a safe and secure society. Any tip can prevent a series of crimes,” he added.

In August, figures released by Dubai Police showed that 25,841 people used the force's e-crime platform on its website in 2021 to report crime.

The British Council, which conducts the IELTS exams, issued a public notice on its website warning of scams.

“Please note that there are websites pretending to be British Council IELTS registration sites. They are not associated with us and we are not responsible for the content on those sites,” it said.

The council advises people to make sure they are using the genuine council website to book a test, and before entering any personal details.

Updated: October 16, 2022, 4:17 AM