Hackers uses various types of malware and vulnerabilities, posing significant threats to individuals and businesses in today's digital world. UAE residents are urged to stay vigilant amid a surge in scams and cyber threats across the nation.

Fraudulent schemes, ranging from impersonations of Dubai Police, local banks, and governmental entities, are on the rise. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct regular security checks to detect and rectify any weaknesses in your system.

In a social media post on Sunday, the UAE Cyber Security Council alerted residents about the cybercriminals regularly sending deceptive phishing emails to compromise their online security.

Authorities advised people to stay one step ahead of the ever-evolving tactics of scammers. According to experts, 3.4 billion spam emails are sent out everyday; phishing emails, disguised as legitimate messages, threaten online safety.

Things to watch out for:

  • These emails might appear to come from shipping or courier companies asking for address update requests for package delivery.
  • You might receive an email purportedly from social media platforms asking you to reactivate your profile/account before it is disabled.
  • An email from trusted banks asking for "account verification: action required immediately" may trigger urgency, prompting you to click on unverified links.
  • When unsuspecting customers give away sensitive details and bank data on the phone or via email, they compromise information and are susceptible to scams. Residents should exercise caution before clicking links or sharing personal data to avoid financial trouble.

Here is how to detect phishing emails:

  • Carefully review the sender's email address. A fake email address will be different from the verified account
  • Directly contact the sender through trusted channels without clicking on any links provided in the email.
  • Watch out for emails with an urgent tone or spelling mistakes.
  • Poor spelling and grammar in emails are often seen as indicators of scams, targeting those who may be more gullible.

Keep an eye on government emails coming from Gmail. No legitimate organisation will send emails from an address that ends ‘@gmail.com'. Except for some small operations, most companies will have their own email domain and email accounts. For example, genuine emails from Google will read ‘@google.com'.

Even if a domain name similar to the entity has sent you an email, watch out for spelling errors. A clue hidden in domain names provides a strong indication of phishing scams.

Phishing emails come in many forms. Besides emails, you might also get scam text messages, phone calls or social media posts.

No matter how phishing emails are delivered, they all contain a payload. This will either be an infected attachment you're asked to download or a link to a bogus website.

The UAE's public sector entities encountered and thwarted an average of 50,000 cybersecurity attacks daily, a number on the rise due to global geopolitical tensions. In the first three quarters of 2023, over 71 million attempted cyber attacks in the UAE were successfully blocked by the authorities.

The Emirates has implemented regulations to combat fraudulent activities related to cybercrime, identity theft, and financial fraud, as outlined in Federal Law No. 34/2021 on Combating Rumors and Cybercrime. However, it remains crucial for the public to stay vigilant and recognize red flags to safeguard themselves against falling victim to scams.


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