Etisalat customer care agent jailed for fraudulently obtaining rewards points

Dubai Criminal Court convicted the Egyptian, 25, of embezzling 3,467,000 points, valued at Dh29,000. The points were in the form of coupons that can be used in shops.

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DUBAI // An Etisalat customer care agent who fraudulently obtained more than three million rewards points and used them to buy plane tickets and fastfood has been sentenced to six months in prison.

Dubai Criminal Court convicted the Egyptian, 25, of embezzling 3,467,000 points, valued at Dh29,000. The points were in the form of coupons that can be used in shops.

The defendant was also convicted of forgery and use of forged documents by altering rewards points electronically and then saving them on Etisalat’s system.

He denied all of the charges in court last month and told judges Etisalat employees often exchange usernames and passwords at the customer care centre.

“Someone else could have used mine to make the forgeries,” the defendant said.

The fraud occurred between July 2015 and October 2016.

The defendant’s job was to answer calls from Etisalat customers. Through his work he noticed that several callers were unaware they had rewards points.

He used the coupons to buy items on Souq.com, at Pizza Hut, KFC, Carrefour, Royal Cinema and also to buy plane tickets.

The fraud came to light when a customer noticed his points were missing and called Etisalat to complain, which prompted an investigation.

The defendant, who has been in custody for six months, will be deported straight away for time already served. He was also fined Dh150,000.

salamir@thenational.ae