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UAE link to credit card fraud investigation

Credit card details stolen in UAE used for fraudulent transactions in US

An international investigation is under way to find thieves believed to have stolen credit card information in the UAE which was then used to make fraudulent purchases in the US.

The scam was uncovered after a number of employees at the US Embassy, and other US citizens residing in the UAE, had unauthorised purchases show up on their cards in recent months.

The US Embassy in the UAE has issued a warning on its website, recommending that all citizens check debit and credit card balances carefully, and to immediately notify banks of any irregularities.

The statement stresses that all of the “To date, all of the reported fraudulent charges have been made from the United States,” the message said. “We are aware of no fraudulent transactions originating in the UAE.”

According to UAE daily the National, MasterCard is co-operating with law enforcement officials and banks to investigate the issue, and Visa is also believed to have been in contact with financial institutions in the US regarding the matter.

According to an anti-fraud manager with a US credit union, quoted anonymously in the paper, Visa said that there had been a “network intrusion” in the UAE between February and August of this year. Visa had said that the intrusion had taken place “at the processor level”, suggesting a payment processing organization, such as a local bank or card issuer, was to blame, although Visa had failed to respond to the National’s requests for clarification.