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Batelco warns customers of mobile fraud

Bahrain latest Middle East country to be targeted by phishing attempts

Fraudsters are targetting mobile users’ personal details, with the lure of cash prizes.
Fraudsters are targetting mobile users’ personal details, with the lure of cash prizes.

Batelco is the latest mobile operator in the Middle East to warn its customers to be on their guard against fraudsters’ attempts to illicit personal information in exchange for bogus prizes.

The Bahrain operator said yesterday that some of its customers had received calls from an international number requesting them to transfer money to an overseas account in order to claim a “significant” cash prize.

Batelco Group’s general manager media and government relations, Ahmed Al Janahi, said: “Batelco stresses that such phone calls are not legitimate and under no circumstances should customers be tricked into parting with any money.”

The statement from Batelco follows similar warnings from other operators in the region. In February, UAE incumbent Qtel warned about calls that claimed customers had won a sum of money from a European lottery.

These were followed by a warning from Vodafone Qatar in April, which said any SMS messages informing Qataris that they had won a free trip to Egypt and US$80,000 courtesy of Vodafone had not been sent by the operator.

“This is not the first time that customers have received bogus phone calls,” Al Janahi added. “Previously, customers have been requested to provide details such as user names, passwords and CPR (central population register) card details.

“The public must be aware that no trustworthy internet services provider or telecom company will ever seek to obtain personal information by email or phone or ask for money to be sent to an unknown person in a foreign country.”

Customers who receive suspicious calls are advised to call Batelco’s customer service centre.