Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 5 June 2020

Al Ansari Exchange warns residents to beware of fake prize messages

The money transfer company urges the public to avoid sharing personal details and report fraudsters to the authorities

A fake WhatsApp message claming to be from Al Ansari Exchange says the customer has won Dh200,000 through a 'lucky draw'. Courtesy Al Ansari
A fake WhatsApp message claming to be from Al Ansari Exchange says the customer has won Dh200,000 through a 'lucky draw'. Courtesy Al Ansari

Al Ansari Exchange, one of the largest money transfer and foreign exchange companies in the UAE, is warning residents to watch out for fraudulent calls and messages that look to lure people in with the promise of prize money.

“Fraudsters will target you with fake messages to get your money! Be aware of fraudulent calls or scam messages circulating on social media claiming that you have won a prize. Please report them to the authorities and avoid sharing your personal/banking details,” Al Ansari said in a tweet on Thursday as part of a new campaign called #FightFraud.

There has been a surge in fraudulent activities worldwide, as more residents turn to digital banking and online remittance services during the Covid-19 pandemic and scammers take advantage of the situation.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has created difficult circumstances for many people and it is important not to get tempted by fake grand prizes,” said Mohammad Bitar, deputy chief executive of Al Ansari.

“We urge the community members to be vigilant and never share their personal details with unknown people, never send money to unverified sources, never click on suspicious links and always verify the credentials of those contacting them. More importantly, the public should report these incidents to the relevant authorities to help them crack down on these suspicious activities.”

Al Ansari said residents should report suspicious messages and phone calls to Dubai Police’s toll-free number 901 or through its e-crime online platform. In Abu Dhabi, residents can call Abu Dhabi Police’s “Aman” service hotline on 800-2626 or report the suspicious activity on www.adpolice.gov.ae.

The remittance provider, which has more than 190 branches across the UAE, is currently running a promotion where customers who send money through the mobile app can win Dh20,000 in cash or an Apple Watch Series 5.

However, Al Ansari said it does not ask the winners of its promotions and campaigns to disclose any personal data or bank account details over the phone, nor pay fees to receive their prizes.

Last month, the UAE Banks Federation, Central Bank of the UAE and Abu Dhabi and Dubai police forces jointly rolled out the country’s first national fraud awareness campaign to equip consumers with the knowledge to protect themselves against fraudsters harassing them with coronavirus-linked scams.

Updated: May 21, 2020 05:11 PM

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