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Sharjah Police Arrest International Gang of 5 Criminals for Phishing Dh3 Million Electronically

Authorities calls on the public to be cautious in dealing with people of unknown identities

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 15, 2024, 13:14:07

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sharjah police arrest five scammers

A gang of five scammers has been apprehended by the Sharjah Police, the authorities announced on Thursday.

The criminal network operated from outside the country and specialised in cyber fraud through a process known as "173". In connection with the scam, over Dh3 million has been seized from accounts linked to 11 anonymous reports registered with the police in the country, the authorities further stated.

The suspects were found to have phished Dh3,011,854 from accounts linked to 11 anonymous reports received by police departments across the UAE, according to Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police.

Brigadier Omar Ahmed Abu Al Zoud, Director of the Sharjah CID, revealed that a report was received from an Arab working for a company within the country. He stated that he had received an email from a supposed supplier requesting an update of the bank data.

After updating the details and transferring Dh85,713,052 to the bank account number provided by the fraudulent company, he discovered that the email was fake.

Abu Al Zoud noted that a team of cybercrime experts was formed to verify the fraud operation and arrest the perpetrators. The technical investigation revealed that the email was fake, and further technical follow-up showed that the money transfer had been made from outside the country.

An African individual who withdrew Dh20,000 from the amount was also identified and arrested in a sting operation at his residence, along with others who lived with him and were proven to be involved in crimes related to cyber fraud.

The police found 173 bank cards and 132 chequebooks belonging to victims whose bank details were used to commit fraud, in the possession of the suspects. Additionally, 21 smartphones, 18 Emirates ID cards belonging to victims who had left the country, six stamps of fake companies and Dh95,320 obtained from withdrawals made through electronic fraud were also discovered.

Abu Al Zoud explained that the perpetrators had premeditatedly purchased 173 accounts from their original owners who had left the country.

They then controlled the accounts and bank cards, transferring money from one account to another to mislead the police.
Lieutenant Ahmed Al Bahai and Lieutenant Nouf Abdul Rahim Al Harmoudi reported that four types of cybercrimes have been frequently reported recently -- "Fake job advertisements", "Fake websites", "Electronic impersonation of persons and institutions", and "Electronic hacks".

They also warned against dealing with websites or information circulated via social media platforms

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