Fraudsters hit Saudi Arabia mobile users

Customers urged to ignore calls saying they have won large amounts of cash

Tags: Cyber crimeFraudSaudi Arabia
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Fraudsters hit Saudi Arabia mobile users Mobile phone users is Saudi Arabia are being warned to be aware of scammers who cal them and tell them they have won large amounts of cash.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  January 12, 2011

Police in Saudi Arabia are warning mobile phone users to be aware of scammers who call them on their mobile phones and tell them they have won large amounts of cash.

"There's an issue with new types of telemarketing fraud. Fraudsters are calling random mobile phone numbers claiming they have won large sums of cash, usually around SR100,000 [$26,665]," said Major General Ali Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, director of Jeddah police.

"Perpetrators ask the victims to switch their mobile phones off, remove the batteries

and tell them the first three serial digits registered on their SIMs, which typically always contain the numbers 8966," he added.

Once the scammers have reassured the victim that the call is not a prank, they ask the victim to send them money and their personal bank details to receive the prize money.

Sawa customers must be particularly on their guard as Al-Ghamdi said the majority of

people targeted are Sawa customers.

Al-Ghamdi also reminded the public not to reveal their personal bank details to any third parties and to only update any of their data at a bank or certified shops run by mobile service providers.

 "They should also not indulge in conversations with people they don't know and avoid giving people their personal information over the telephone," he said.

The Major-General warned mobile users that buying prepaid hone cards from unlicensed shops, even if they are cheaper, is dangerous and warned against helping people they do not know pay their bills through their personal bank accounts.

"Police in Jeddah are on standby to provide all necessary assistance and advice to citizens and residents," said Al-Ghamdi.

The Major General urged citizens to report any fraudulent calls they receive.

This scam is similar to one that was perpetrated in the UAE in February 2009. See story here.

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