Card scam gang arrested after Dh1 million UAE spending spree

Abu Dhabi Police gave details of the scam as they revealed the Asian suspects had been arrested.

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Four men managed to spend Dh1 million on cloned credit cards after copying bank data from customers across the world.

Abu Dhabi Police gave details of the scam as they announced the Asian suspects had been arrested.

The cards were used for purchases at hotels, stores and entertainment outlets across the country.

Another man, who worked as an operations manager for a major retailer, was caught and accused of helping them.

Police said the men had obtained the data through “international piracy networks” and transferred the balances to adapted magnetic cards, such as hotel key cards and loyalty cards.

Col Rashid Borshid, director of CID at Abu Dhabi Police, said the force received reports from international banks about funds withdrawn from their clients accounts at outlets in Abu Dhabi - despite the fact the account owners were not in the country.

He said after copying the data to makeshift cards, the gang members used each for a single purchase and then destroyed them, knowing that the bank would cancel them after the alarm was raised.

The police chief said the men admitted to the charges during questioning and gave details of their operation that corresponded with what investigators had found.

The crime was described as “unique” in terms of its implementation and scale.

Col Borshid urged the public to be careful when using online payment portals.