What are the developments of anti-money laundering in the UAE?

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January 03, 2022



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Bank frauds are of different kinds and can include different types of financial crimes. It is critical to build awareness on the different type of bank fraud and also to practice the measures that one can take in order to prevent falling victim to such criminal acts. In this article, we will also discuss the measures that one can take in order to file a complaint in such circumstances.

Different types of bank frauds:

  • ATM frauds: There are a variety of ways in which ATM machines are sometimes manipulated by fraudsters. Such as, including a camera to record your pin details, attaching a device on to the card slot to record your cards details, as well as attaching a fake keypad. Once the criminals have intercepted the data on the card’s magnetic strip and /or the user’s secure pin, the data is then used to create fake cards with which funds are then fraudulently withdrawn.
  • Fake or phishing emails: It is a common tactic followed by cybercriminals to send phishing emails representing a particular bank or the UAE central bank and thus enticing a victim to share their personal identification details online. The emails are made to look authentic by including logos and similar domains so as gain the trust of the unsuspecting victims. Be especially wary of the emails that notify you that your ‘account is now frozen. Over the past, this has been seen as a very common tactic followed by fraudsters, seeking to put you in a panic and attempting to request sensitive data under the guise of unlocking or unfreezing your bank account. The UAE banks and the UAE Central bank have repeatedly issued notices informing their clients that the banks would not require a verification process through such emails, and nor would they randomly freeze your bank account for no apparent reason. Often, such phishing emails also contain viruses or external links that attempt to gain access and store your personal data.
  • Scam calls: Similar to the phishing emails in this type of bank fraud, a fraudster attempts to obtain sensitive personal information such as their date of birth, passwords, card details by making convincing phone calls. Often such calls are made posing as the technical team for the bank, or that of the UAE police department, while attempting to gain sensitive information by either tricking or threatening the unaware victim.
  • Bank cheque fraud: In this type of fraud, the fraudsters provides one with a magic ink/pen for the purpose of writing the cheque. By using the same, the written cheque amount ends up disappearing after a few hours, thereby allowing the fraudster the perfect opportunity to refill the cheque value and then to encash the cheque for a higher value than what was intended by the issuer.

How to initiate a complaint in case of bank fraud:

  • Step One: Raise an official complaint with the bank as a preliminary step. This will provide you with a record of the complaint and ensure proper procedures until the matter is resolved. Use the formal steps of recording a complaint with the proper reference number and with documented records. Further, also ensure that you are reaching the right department within the bank; for example, there exists a separate department for corporate banking and for personal banking, and each bank also has a legal department apart from a dedicated customer care division.
  • Step Two: File a police report: As an immediate next measure, ensure to file a police complaint to record your loss and the attempted hacking of your account. Depending on the nature of the financial crime, you may file a complaint with the cyber division, as in the case of online scams.
  • Step Three: File report with the central bank: After you have initiated your complaint with the bank and an enquiry is in this process, you may also consider escalating the complaint with the UAE central bank. The Consumer Protection Department in the UAE central bank is responsible for resolving customer disputes against a given financial institution. This step should, of course, be taken after attempting for initial internal resolution with the concerned financial institution. However, if the complaint is not resolved even after thirty days’ time period or if you are not satisfied with the resolution then, the consumers can raise their complaint with the central bank.

Bank frauds are increasingly prevalent across the globe and in the United Arab Emirates. Realizing the increasing number of such scams, awareness campaigns are routinely conducted by the UAE Central bank along with the public authorities like the Dubai and Abu Dhabi police in order to raise general awareness with the public. Awareness is critical in preventing such scams.

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