Fake UAE Ministry website targets jobseekers

Scammers using copy of UAE Ministry of Labour website to steal personal data and defraud jobseekers

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By  Mark Sutton and WAM Published  February 10, 2008

Jobseekers looking for employment in the UAE are being targeted by an online scam using a copy of the UAE Ministry of Labour's website.

The scam, discovered by the Ministry of Education last week, attempted to lure overseas jobseekers with bogus online job adverts offering lucrative positions in the UAE. The victims were instructed to send personal details to a clone of the UAE Ministry of Labour site, www.uaeministryoflabour.tk and to an email associated with it.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Education, as reported by news agency WAM, the scam came to light when a US teacher approached the Ministry. The teacher had already applied online for a position, but had become suspicious when asked for a fee for a visa.

The Ministry statement revealed "unknown elements copied its website to establish contact with local and foreign applicants, particularly in the fields of employment. They issued what seemed to be authenticated employment forms to applicants, bearing forged signature of UAE Minister of Education Dr Hanif Hassan."

Copying of websites, so that they appear to be official sites, while linking to a different, illicit email or web portal, is an increasingly common tactic used by fraudsters to steal personal data.

The clone website was registered with the domain suffix .tk, the registered domain of tiny Pacific island Tokelau, which allows the domain to be used by Dot TK, an Amsterdam-based free domain registration service.

The site was still online on Friday, although access from the UAE has since been blocked by Etisalat.

The Ministry of Education said that similar fraud attempts had been detected against other Ministries, although no further information was available.

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