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Scammers in the UAE?


Times are a-changing; the safe UAE Kipp grew up in, is changing too. Be cautious of fraudsters and always be careful with your credit card...

May 20, 2012 4:09 by

Have you heard of the old adage: ‘if it is too good to be true, then it probably is…’? Kipp sure has, and it is generally the gauge we’ve used to keep us out of the way of dodgy scams and schemes in the UAE. Now granted, the  UAE is a relatively safe place when it comes to fraudulent sharks, but of recent there has been a significant increase in the number of scammers at work. For instance, have you ever received a call from men who claim to be from Etisalat who tell you “Guess what? You just won Dh100,000! To reclaim your prize, you will just have to SMS over Dh500 right away?”


A rather obvious scam, we thought when we received the call for the first time. Since then, we have had our fair share of calls from the scammers, seems like the scam-market is going well. Of recent we have begun to notice the emergence of little kiosks in popular shopping malls under a sign bearing the name “Vacation International.” Usually, there are men dressed in formal black suits who sit behind the counter and promise to enter you into a lucky draw-free of charge.


A friend of mine was curious about this scheme and so filled in the form, only to receive a call three days later: ‘You have won a free vacation.’ In order to claim her prize, she needed to attend a 2 hour long presentation at a hotel in Deira. Now my friend was too lazy to find out what happens, but this report from Gulf News earlier today, helps fill in the blanks.


The paper tells the story of Kashyap Dave who ended up shelling out Dh19,000 after a three hour session with sales representatives from Vacation International: “”I don’t know how they created such an environment, like everyone was sitting and they were showing me credit card slips that a guy has paid; so this is a one-time offer. But keeping in mind that Dubai laws and everything are very strict and nobody can do such things very openly, my trust was very high. I blindly entered into it.”


Of course, the painful realisation of what was really going on is too little too late for Kashyap Dave-and Kipp has only one word for our readers: CAUTION! Just because you are in the UAE and you don’t have to second guess every purchase you make for fear of being ‘cheated’ be cautious of fraudsters-things are quite what they used to be here in the Emirates.

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