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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Watch out for fake DIFC licences, UAE residents warned

The scam is part of a scheme to get consumers to pay up when they sign an initial contract  

Residents have been alerted about fake Dubai International Financial Centre commercial licences that are being sold.

The warning was sent out by the Dubai Financial Services Authority to caution the financial services community and the public about a business management company allegedly based in the UAE that is involved in the fraud.

The company firsts sells a fake DIFC commercial licence for an entity called ‘Investment Bank Limited’ that it claims is located in DIFC and registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies, the authority said in a statement.

The fee for the licence is $25million with a 10 per cent advance fee payment to be made when the initial contract is signed.

The authority has warned individuals and firms against dealing with the organisation and forwarding money to such companies.

“The DFSA informs you that an entity named ‘Investment Bank Limited’ is not registered by the DIFC Registrar of Companies nor is it authorised by the DFSA and therefore it does not exist in the DIFC,” the statement said.

The DIFC commercial licence the company claims to sell is fake and of no value, the authority stated.

The authenticity of all DIFC registered companies can be checked on its website and information about scams is posted in the alerts segment. Guidance on how to avoid being scammed is available with details about the common schemes to swindle consumers.

For any concerns about documents that claim to be issued by the DIFC authority or registrar of companies, residents can reach out to the DFSA complaints section on www.dfsa.ae.

Earlier this week the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development had announced that it had toughened penalties to Dh 50,000 against any company using bogus economic licenses and would also blacklist violators.

Using fake licences was a threat to economic activity with anti-counterfeit measures planned that would end such practices, the department said.

About 100 companies suspected of using fake visas have been interrogated of which 70 are located in the capital, 25 five in Al Dafra and five in Al Ain. In cases where it was proved that fake licences were provided, action taken included cancellation of residence permits.