DUBAI // Dubai Police announced the arrest of two men for e-mail fraud yesterday in an effort to highlight an increase in internet and SMS scams.
The men were arrested and later confessed to using e-mails to defraud a 74-year-old American project manager of a large amount of money, police said.
The man told police he received an e-mail in 2007 from what appeared to be an international computer programming company.
In the message, he was told he won a large amount of money and was asked to claim the prize. He did and the two men provided him with a mobile phone number for a person in Dubai. He was asked later to wire some money through Western Union to fake names they provided. After he sent the money, the men ignored his calls.
The police would not say how they were able to identify the men, but revealed they had followed certain leads before arresting the pair in a neighbouring emirate.
Both confessed to defrauding the man and were referred to the Public Prosecution.
The men were arrested last year, but police announced details of the case for the first time yesterday.
"Fraud attempts using websites have increased in the past few years," said Col Khalil Ibrahim al Mansouri, the head of the city's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Col al Mansouri said electronic fraud trends included stealing credit cards and using them to purchase goods online and also stealing passwords in order to access "sensitive" websites.
Between March 2008 and March 2009, according to Col al Mansouri, victims in Dubai were conned out of more than Dh130,000 via phone text messages and e-mails offering bogus prizes. Recent figures were not available.