|03 February, 2020

Dubai Police uncover $8.7mln online scam

Gang run 81 fake business across 18 countries around the world

DUBAI - Dubai Police arrested a gang of nine African fraudsters specialised in cyber scam, uncovering more than AED32 million in operation dubbed 'Fox Hunt'.

The gang run 81 fake business across 18 countries around the world which deceived victims into transferring money in return of job opportunities, Dubai Police said in statement on Monday.

The con-artists were busted at their residence inside the country where the e-crime team at the General Department of Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police found laptops and mobile phones full of sensitive information on individuals and companies including bank accounts and credit cards details as well as documents and files condemning the gangs’ illegal activities.

Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, said the arrest is a new achievement added to the record of Dubai police in ensuring the emirate's security and safety as well as preserving people's money and properties. He reaffirmed the force's commitment to foiling cyber fraud and online scams using latest technology.

"As gangs constantly change their criminal methods, Dubai Police exert all efforts to qualify elites of officers and employees specialised in dealing with latest technologies to tackle emerging crimes," Maj- Gen. Al Marri said.

Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander in Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs, said operation 'Fox Hunt' is a unique and extremely professional hit for it prevented the gang from abusing 800,000 e-mail addresses, and foiled their bid to steal AED4 billion. He praised the tremendous efforts made by the force's teams who arrested the suspects and mastered the use of modern technologies.

Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jalaf, Director of the General Department of Criminal Investigation, CID, at Dubai Police, said the case started when Dubai Police’s anti-cybercrime platform received a tip claiming that some social media users were fooled by pretentious scammers who promised to help with job opportunities.

"Hours of continuous work and thorough investigations led to identifying the group of scammers who used social media to celebrate illegitimate wealth registered under the names of others. They were luring victims with fake employment opportunities," Brig. Al Jalaf added.

"Victims received phishing emails that deceived them into transferring money to complete fake recruitment procedures," he said and added, "Our teams closely monitored the gang and put the details of their IDs, bank accounts, residence, and cars under the spotlight." As Dubai Police were closely monitoring the group, they received a tip claiming that one of the suspects intended to leave the country, the CID team immediately drew the plan and set a zero hour to arrest the suspects.

Captain Abdullah Al Shehi, Deputy Director of E-investigations at Dubai Police, said the arrest foiled the gang's bid to drain out the balance of 1126 credit cards with an estimated total value of AED64 million.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.