The Ministry of Interior has urged public not to respond to anonymous messages that require the user to update personal data or that contain links without checking the sender's source to avoid sharing information and personal data with unreliable parties.
Head of the economic and electronic crimes prevention section at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry, Lieutenant Colonel Ali Hassan al-Kubaisi, said that cases of financial fraud have increased in recent times especially through WhatsApp and SMS messages, where some are victims of these crimes as a result of their response to fraudsters by sending their information, including credit card details.
Al-Kubaisi said more than 40% of the cases his department received in 2018 involved electronic frauds in which multiple methods were used, mostly by WhatsApp or text messages that contain links.
He highlighted the need to be alert to a number of methods used by the perpetrators of these crimes, including the simulation of the brand and sites of reliable establishments, or make minute changes in the name of the bank the victim deals with or change the case of the letter, which calls for scrutinising the incoming messages and ensuring their authenticity.
Al-Kubaisi stressed the importance of enhancing safety in order to ensure the prevention of these crimes.
He added that the economic and electronic crimes prevention section is keen to make the public aware of the need not to share information by telephone, text messages or e-mail without making sure about the authenticity of the caller.
Al Kubaisi pointed out that the majority of victims have a role in the occurrence of such crimes by sharing their personal information to unknown entities, which later use the details to withdraw funds from bank accounts.
He siad it was important to take the necessary safety instructions to avoid electronic fraud, including not responding to messages that tell you about winning prizes, or SMSes asking for personal data, credit card numbers or requesting updating user name and password and other fraudulent methods.
The ministry urged that to maintain the highest levels of secrecy, the victims should communicate directly with the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters at Al Duhail, or through Metrash 2; telephone 2347444; hotline 66815757; and e-mail [email protected]
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