Phishing scam foiled
Dhs800,000 recovered by police
Dubai Police has recovered Dhs800,000 belonging to a UAE resident who had sent the money to a European bank following an online “phishing” scam.
The force’s Cyber Crime Department said an Arab resident had filed a complaint saying his account had been hacked.
He said that someone illegally accessed the email account of an overseas firm that he had previous business transactions with and asked him to send money to a bank account for a shipment of goods.
Colonel Saeed Al Hajri, director of the department, said the victim told police that he had become suspicious after wiring the money to a different bank account from the one that he usually used.
“He claimed that the hacker sent him an email asking him to send the money to a secondary account in Europe and then the victim called the company and they told him that they didn’t send him any emails,” Al Hajri said.
Dubai Police contacted the bank in Europe and convinced them to freeze the account and return the money before the hacker could access it.
“The money was returned to the merchant, who couldn’t believe it and had presumed his money was gone,” said Al Hajri.
“The hacker managed to get access on the company’s email and send the email to the merchant and conned him.”
Dubai Police said it successfully thwarted 1,849 potential attacks in 2015, recording a significant increase from 2014’s 1,580 cases.
During the first half of this year, Dubai Police recorded 1,072 potential attacks.
Al Hajri said that cyber crimes are an international problem. “With the speed of development in technology these days, the criminals use it to commit the crimes knowing that law enforcement can’t reach them,” he said.
“Cyber crimes threaten the stability of society such as hacking and piracy, violation of intellectual property rights and the sexual
exploitation of children.”