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Online Shopping Scams Surge Ahead of Holidays in the UAE

Online shoppers in the UAE are increasingly falling victim to cyber frauds, with many residents falling victim to deceptive tactics.

As the holiday season approaches, online shoppers in the UAE increasingly fall prey to cyber scams, with many residents encountering fraudulent schemes while seeking online deals. 

Expats Abdul Hadi and Muhamed Ammar shared their experiences, highlighting incidents of receiving misrepresented products, from vacuum cleaners to perfumes, through deceptive online advertisements.

Rising Incidents of Cyber Scams:

According to a study by payment platform Visa, incidents of cyber scams tend to escalate during the holiday season when consumers actively seek online bargains and gift ideas. 

The study emphasizes that thousands worldwide fall victim to holiday scams annually, urging shoppers to exercise caution.

Fake Product Disguises and Losses:

Abdul Hadi recounted ordering a vacuum cleaner at a 50 percent discount, only to receive a vastly inferior product worth a fraction of the paid amount. 

Similarly, Muhamed Ammar fell victim to fake perfumes, purchasing products advertised at a 60 percent discount, only to discover they were diluted imitations. 

Ammar lost Dh1,200 and had to spend an additional Dh3,000 to obtain genuine perfumes.

Safety Tips for Online Shoppers:

UAE authorities and Visa provide consumer safety tips to combat the surge in online scams. 

These include shopping only from trusted and secure websites, being cautious of deals that appear too good to be true, and avoiding phishing scams through unsolicited emails or messages. Other measures include:

  • Checking details in OTP messages.
  • Keeping devices and software updated.
  • Using strong passwords.
  • Monitoring bank statements for unauthorized transactions.

Reminder to Stay Vigilant:

Amid the surge in cyber scams, UAE residents are reminded to “think before you click,” reinforcing the importance of vigilance while engaging in online transactions. 

The UAE’s authorities continue to caution against online scammers and urge residents to follow secure practices to protect themselves from fraudulent schemes.

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