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Abu Dhabi Police Issues Warning of Phishing Scam

According to the Criminal Investigation Department of Abu Dhabi Police, bank customers should be careful of a phishing scam that put bank accounts of customers at risk.

Colonel Rashid Bu Rasheed, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department, said that the Department had received several reports of fraudulent attempts in which fraudsters (or people who pretend as real banking services providers) targeted bank account services. They deceived customers through a phishing scam. phishing is a criminal activity performed by cyber attackers who masquerade as legitimate entity, but acquire sensitive information, as reported by zawya on March 21, 2010.

The Police have revealed that the modus operandi adopted by criminals to accomplish their task. They represented themselves as banks officials and sent e-mails. The e-mails contain information about the suspension of bank's operating systems. In order to reactivate the service, customers should forward their Personal Identity Number (PIN) together with other confidential information. The e-mails asked for filling in a form and sent it back to the bank authorities.

Colonel Bu Rasheed further added that majority of people involved in running of the scam were from Africa.

Moreover, it is not the first attempt when financial institutions in the Middle East have been attacked by the scammers. In September 2007, the RSA Anti-Fraud Command Center (AFCC) {a security division of EMC} recorded several number of phishing incidences in July 2007. The attacks were mainly targeted against Saudi Arabia and Dubai banks as well as many renowned financial services providers.

Expressing his views on the issue, Captain Omar Al Tunaiji, Director General of Electronic Crime Department, said that people should refrain from replying to those e-mails that actually lead them to share their financial information, as reported by gulfnews on March 21, 2010. He also urged people to check their accounts, balances and withdrawals time to time and report any suspicious activity immediately.

In addition, bank customers should get in touch with their banks first if they received any message requesting for banking information. Customers who have already provided their sensitive information should immediately contact their banks so that appropriate measures could be taken to prevent any mishap.

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