7DAYS read­ers re­veal how they were caught out

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - @is­mailsebu

By Is­mail Se­bug­waawo More vic­tims of bad cheque scams have spo­ken out af­ter Abu Dhabi au­thor­i­ties de­tained a con­man who bought cars with bounced cheques.

7DAYS re­ported last week that a Syr­ian man was ar­rested by po­lice and charged with tak­ing ex­pen­sive cars from own­ers af­ter giv­ing them bad cheques and then sell­ing on the cars for a lower value.

Abu Dhabi prose­cu­tors said the man, in his 30s, was in­volved in 17 scams in­clud­ing dup­ing car own­ers into hand­ing him lux­u­ri­ous cars and mak­ing them sign sale agree­ments af­ter he gave them cheques, which later bounced.

Af­ter read­ing at the ar­ti­cle other peo­ple con­tacted 7DAYS to tell their sto­ries about how they were also duped in sim­i­lar ways and are yet to re­cover their cash from the con­men, to raise aware­ness of cheque scams.

Nas­sib Had­dad says he lost his BMW in June 2015 to a con­man from Ras Al Khaimah.

“The man phoned me say­ing he was in­ter­ested in buy­ing my car af­ter I ad­ver­tised its sale on Du­biz­zle,” he said.

The 36-year-old Dubai busi­ness­man said the Emi­rati man came along with his friend and met him in the Al Bar­sha area of Dubai dur­ing the evening to see the car.

“Af­ter see­ing the car, they sug­gested that we go to Al Bar­sha ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion cen­tre where the car was in­spected on the same day and passed,” said Had­dad.

The man then of­fered to buy the car for Dhs200,000 and would pay by cheque.

“At first, I re­fused to take the cheque,” says Had­dad.

“But when the man in­sisted, claim­ing they were from Ras Al Khaimah and wouldn’t be able to re­turn to Dubai soon, I ac­cepted.”

He added: “And the fact that they were Emi­ratis, I trusted them and gave in my car af­ter they signed the cheque.”

Had­dad said that when he went to the bank the fol­low­ing day, he was told the Emi­rati didn’t have suf­fi­cient bal­ance left.

He says he filed a com­plaint with Al Bar­sha Po­lice Sta­tion but later learned that since Oc­to­ber last year, the man was ar­rested and pros­e­cuted in RAK over 13 sim­i­lar scams.

“It's very un­for­tu­nate. Es­pe­cially that he was an Emi­rati and un­til that mo­ment, I had full trust in our lo­cal friends,” said Had­dad.

An­other vic­tim, a 34-year-old In­dian woman, and owner of a fit­ness equip­ment firm in Dubai’s Busi­ness Bay says in 2014, a Syr­ian man took eight units of fit­ness equip­ment worth Dhs330,000 from them and gave them cheques, all of which bounced when they at­tempted to de­posit them. “We took the case to Bur Dubai Po­lice Sta­tion,” she said. “Ac­cord­ing to po­lice records, the man had been in­volved in sev­eral bounced cheque cases.” She added: “I don’t think the man has been caught till now be­cause we haven’t heard any­thing yet from po­lice. He might be con­tin­u­ing th­ese ac­tiv­i­ties with other com­pa­nies. “I’m shar­ing my case with 7DAYS to in­form peo­ple about such scams be­cause it could save many oth­ers from go­ing through the same sit­u­a­tion,” she said.

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