UAE - Rahul Khillare, a resident of Dubai for 13 years, usually buys grocery items from the popular local e-commerce and orders food from online delivery platforms.

But while surfing a social media platform, an advertisement similar to a popular fast-food chain appeared on the screen. Tempted by an enticing deal of Dh14 for a combo meal, Khillare immediately clicked on the link and put his credit card details to purchase the deal.

The purchase was quick and smooth. He immediately got a message about the successful purchase. But he was shocked to read the message. Instead of Dh14, he was charged with a whopping Dh14,000.

He just lost Dh14,000 for clicking on a fake ad which directed him to a fake website which looked “exactly the same as the original website” of a fast-food chain, Khillare, an F&B industry executive, told Khaleej Times.

How it happened

Khillare said: “I clicked on the ad and selected the food costing only Dh14. After checking out, I was asked for my credit card details which I provided. Then, I tried to process my order but it didn’t work and I got stuck there. I was not asked to provide the OTP (one-time password) but I got a notification that Dh14,000 was deducted from my account.

Before Khillare could alert the bank about the scam, the money had already been withdrawn from his account.

Be cautious always

UAE authorities have issued advisories, time and again, asking residents to be watchful of social media fraud and take all precautionary measures when sharing their personal and financial details. They told consumers in the UAE to source all information from official channels and verified social media accounts and websites. Banks in the UAE also regularly send out messages and emails to their customers to remind them about safe measures they should take.

If the customers lose the money due to their own mistakes, banks refuse to refund the money. Khillare’s bank also refused to return the money.

Lesson learned

“Going forward, there is no way I’ll click on those social media advertisements again. I have learnt my lesson that I should not believe everything that pops up on social media. Also, I’ll place orders directly through the company’s websites only, not through advertisements on social media,” Khillare underlined.

He also advised residents to be very careful before they click on any website or advertisement.

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