Scammers are coming up with new tricks to defraud people amid this pandemic. That is why residents in UAE have been warned against increasing fraudulent activities since the onset of the Covid-19, relating to advance fee and cloning of genuine companies based in Dubai.

Here are some of the scams to watch out for:

Bank alerts

The Central Bank of UAE has warned bank customers of potential fraudulent activities using its name. “Fraudsters always look for opportunities to target consumers and as the public is engaged with COVID-19 pandemic news, fraudsters are using different tactics to increase fraudulent activities on banking customers,” the regulatory bank said. The Standard Chartered Bank also issued a similar warning. They said fraudsters are playing on public fears and might pose public officials to obtain personal information which might lead to data compromise and fraudulent transactions.

Do your research before you spend money on charity

Donating to a charity is a great way to do your bit during the pandemic but be careful. There are lots of scammers impersonating genuine charities. They may contact you by email or text messages or through websites that look deceptively similar to legitimate charities. Their emails often trick users to click a link which downloads malware that allows cybercriminals to steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers. So, always check the charity’s name and website address before giving any money or opening any attachment. Remember, only registered charities are allowed to collect money in the UAE. It’s illegal to raise money from the public in the country without approval from competent authorities. Violators face jail or fine up to Dh500,000.

Hiring racket

As hospitals scramble to hire frontline workers to fight the pandemic, there has been a sudden rise in job scams targeting healthcare professionals. Recruitment consultants in Dubai said people should do their due diligence before applying for these positions. Aspen Medical UAE has cautioned job aspirants against an advertisement seeking applications for ‘COVID-19 Response Clinicians’ in their name. “No, this [job advertisement] is not from us. We do not have any such openings as of now,” Aspen Medical UAE said in an email response to a Gulf News query. A Facebook post suggesting that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is looking to hire community enforcement workers to help create awareness of COVID-19 in Kenya has also been rubbished. “What they essentially want is your personal information which they can then use to steal your password and hack into your bank account,” said a cyber expert. Similar recruitment scams are targeting people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic.

Travel refunds

With airlines grounded and travelers struggling to seek refunds for canceled flights, there’s been an alarming surge in scams related to travel refunds. Recently, Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates Airlines also cautioned customers not to respond to scams offering refunds for canceled flights. In a statement on its website, Emirates confirmed that they are aware of phishing attacks that contain the subject headline “Your flight is canceled: collect your refund.”

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