Sharjah Police have arrested five men for trying to swindle people out of their money.
The alleged phone scammers made random calls and posed as staff from banks and public departments.
They tried to convince people to share sensitive financial information, such as one-time passwords and the CCV codes on their credit and debit cards to avoid their bank accounts being suspended.
Police were alerted about the incident after people lodged reports.
Col Omar Al Zoud, director of the CID at Sharjah Police, said the gang was traced to an apartment in the emirate.
“After they were kept under surveillance, the apartment was raided and the men arrested,” he said.
“A number of mobile phones, SIM cards and laptops were found in their possession and were confiscated.”
The men have been referred to public prosecutors.
“People should not share their bank details and OTPs with anyone. If they need to update their bank details, they should do it at the bank,” Col Al Zoud said.
Cyber criminals often use 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.
Once fraudsters have 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.
In June this year, Sharjah Police launched an awareness campaign about the dangers of cyber crime after recording a 70 per cent increase in the number of victims in the past two years.
Officers met local residents at the emirate’s City Centre Al Zahia and advised them on how to protect themselves.
They also helped them to identify when they are being targeted by cyber criminals.