UAE Banking Sector Joins Hands with Law Enforcement agencies to Topple Cybercrime Networks Operating in the UAE
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and UAE Banks Federation (UBF) together with Dubai Police and Abu Dhabi Police have initiated the country’s first nationwide fraud awareness marketing campaign. The purpose of this initiative is to protect consumers as well as to provide them awareness regarding financial cybercrime, especially in light of increased use of digital banking services during the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
As digital solutions disrupt the operations of the banking industry, fraudsters/ scammers have become increasingly advanced and knowledgeable, resulting in a significant increase in the number of reported cases of scams/ frauds. In 2018, there was an increase of 18.2% in reported fraud cases in the UAE when compared with that of the previous year, and the trend continued in 2019 as well.
Governor of CBUAE, Abdulhamid Saeed, has said that transactions performed through digital banking platform have witnessed a significant increase as a result of which we have deployed robust preventative measures to protect our consumers from scams and frauds.
He also said that the announcement of the fraud awareness initiative further validates our commitment towards protecting our consumers from scammers and fraudsters.
Globally, scams and cybercrime are expected to rise even further. With millions of people instructed to stay at home, fraud related with COVID-19 is also expected to increase as scammers/ fraudsters may take advantage of people’s concerns and apprehension during these difficult times.
Common Frauds and Scams
Fraudsters and scammers target people through SMS, email, social media and phone calls. They pretend to be representatives of actual organizations, including banks, government departments/ institutions and healthcare facilities to trick the individuals into disclosing financial as well as personal information. The CBUAE has been continuously urging the general public to be cautious and careful of any potential fraudulent activity using its name and warns that the volume of these type of frauds and scams is expected to increase during the pandemic.
In order to encourage the general public to remain careful and vigilant, the fraud awareness campaign has been rolled out nationwide across all traditional and social media platforms with the support of the Fraud Prevention Committee of the UBF and 53 member banks of the UBF. The main theme of the awareness campaign is “#TogetherAgainstFraud”. The plan is to spread awareness among the people through articles and educational videos as to how they can identify and avoid potential scams/ frauds.
As part of the fraud awareness campaign launched to assist government authorities and banks in the fight against scammers/ fraudsters, UBF has developed and launched a website where consumers can report scams and fraudulent activities.
The chairman at UBF, AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, has said that our aim is not only to equip our people with the resources and knowledge they need to safeguard themselves from fraud and scams, but also to disrupt cybercrime networks that are targeting the residents of the UAE.
This awareness campaign is expected to run until the year end, focusing on different topics each month. These include vishing, phishing, SIM swap fraud, vanishing ink scams, lottery scams, email redirection fraud, card skimming, and data privacy.
Lieutenant General of Dubai Police, Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, said that one of our main goals is to reduce fraudulent activities in the UAE. This campaign stimulates our will and readiness to address the issue of cybercrime as well as strengthen our efforts, together with our partners, to eliminate this threat to the society.
He further added that through this #TogetherAgainstFraud campaign, we can significantly reduce the number of reported fraud cases in the UAE. He also said that if we want to win this battle against fraud then would have to show unity and work together.