According to officials, many people have received calls and messages ‘on behalf of telecom companies and banks’ recently. These impostors lure people by telling them that they have won cash prizes and elicit bank account and other personal details.
Earlier this year, ROP arrested a gang of 32 in two different raids on similar charges after the perpetrators contacted their victims through phone calls to tell them they had won cash prizes to obtain their credit card information. A total of 60 mobile phones and more than 70 SIM cards were seized.
The trend is back now with people receiving calls from both local and international numbers, said an ROP official. “Ignore calls or messages that announce monetary prizes to avoid falling prey to electronic fraud. We also advise people not to share any financial or personal information, and block such anonymous numbers or accounts,” the official said.
Saada al Tauqi, a hotel employee, said she received two calls from different numbers last week. “I got a call from a local number telling me I have won a big amount of money. I sensed something was fishy when the person started asking me about my account details and so I asked him a number of questions and so he hung up. When I tried to reach that number later, it was switched off. Just after a day, I got another call from an international number informing me that I had won in some raffle draw. He too needed my account details and I immediately hung up,” she said.
ROP official said fraudsters are using different means to cheat people. “Avoid responding to calls, messages from a suspicious source. Also, online users should refrain from responding to social media requests asking for personal details,” the official added.