As technology is advancing rapidly, so are the scams that are becoming more and more complex and even more convincing, and even though print, broadcast, and online campaigns are constantly warning us and raising awareness against these scams, many people still fall victim to them.
There are many digital scams doing the rounds these days on social media and by calls. So, it's time to be extra careful and extra vigilant so you don't fall prey to these fake schemes out there by people and organisations out to make money off you.
Check out the following scams in Qatar and be careful that you don't fall for any of them or give away any personal information.
In fact, just today, someone forwarded the following Whatsapp message to a group I'm following on Whatsapp:
Please keep in mind the above is fake.
Similarly, just last week, there was a fake circular going around on Whatsapp and other platforms, stating that Lulu Hypermarket will issue $500 coupons during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Qatar.
The circular asked consumers to click the following link: http://lulu.bpromos.net and answer several questions to get a $500 coupon.
This is what Lulu had to say on their Instagram account about this circular:
"Dear valued customers, a message claiming that LuLu Hypermarket will be giving away coupons worth $500 during the pandemic is being circulated on WhatsApp. We emphasise that this message is fake and not associated with LuLu Hypermarket by any means. News and giveaways are announced only on our official channels. Therefore, we encourage you to ignore the message's content and avoid sharing the news. Thank you for understanding."
So kindly make sure that any news you read is from a credible source.
People in Qatar have been receiving the following message on their Whatsapp or Viber congratulating the person whose number it is that they have won QR 200,000 in a promotional lucky draw. It's totally fake.
A member of the ILQ team received a phone call from a scammer who told him that he was the lucky phone number and had just won QR 10,000 worth of goods from Lulu Hypermarket. All the ILQ team member was required to do was send the scammer QR 500 riyals, so he could deliver the voucher for QR 10,000. The ILQ member told him that he would pick up the voucher himself, to which the scammer replied that that wasn't a possibility and that he would deliver it himself upon receiving QR 500. When the ILQ member told the scammer to deduct the QR 500 from the QR 10,000 voucher, he again said that wasn't possible. So it became obvious that it was a scam, and the scammer was out to try to make some easy money.
Recently, a number of people in Qatar received SMS messages from a mobile number pretending to be the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). According to the message, the receiver's ATM card had been suspended for security reasons, which required a callback.
This particular scam is one of the recurring ones over the years ago, but seems to be more active lately. It comes in different formats; some messages even have spelling errors as below:
According to a CID officer we spoke with, CID does not send SMS. Instead, they call your mobile number and speak to you personally to deliver such a message.
Typically, the SMS customers receive looks like it's from their bank. If you call on the mentioned number, the scammer will say you need to confirm some personal details, usually your Internet banking username and password. And if you reveal your details, you will soon find scammers have accessed your account and cleared out the money.
Fake recruitment emails or social media posts use the Qatar Petroleum name and logo to defraud recipients. These fraudulent advertisements offer fake employment opportunities and ask for personal information and/or payments in advance for hire, according to the Qatar Petroleum website.
Please be aware that Qatar Petroleum, its affiliates, and its accredited recruitment agencies, do not charge candidates any fees whatsoever at any part of the recruitment process.
All correspondence by email from Qatar Petroleum is from an email address ending with @qp.com.qa. If you receive email from another address it may not be an authentic communication from the Qatar Petroleum Recruitment Section.
Qatar Petroleum will not accept liability, under any circumstances, for loss and/or damage resulting from these unauthorized advertisements, whether direct or consequential.
Any misuse or misleading misrepresentations of the Qatar Petroleum name or logo should be reported immediately to [email protected]
In addition to fraudulent recruitment emails and posts, fake letters are known to have been circulated to Qatar Petroleum suppliers and vendors requesting advertising support for special publications celebrating Qatar Petroleum milestones, according to the Qatar Petroleum website.
The letters contain the Qatar Petroleum name and logo, as well as the signatures of Qatar Petroleum officials, and invites companies to advertise.
We would like to formally warn that this letter is a forgery and an organized Internet scam with an agenda to obtain money from unsuspecting businesses.
If you receive similar suspicious letters, fraudulent recruitment offers, or e-mails using the name and logo of Qatar Petroleum, but coming from a domain other than @qp.com.qa, please contact [email protected] immediately.
Please be careful of scam calls or notifications from persons or parties impersonating to be from Doha Bank/customer care/CID requesting to update your banking records.
DO NOT share any sensitive information related to QID, OTP, Card & PIN or Passwords over phone, email or any other means. Doha Bank will never call or send notifications for updating Bank records over a phone call.
Report such suspicious communication / transaction immediately on +974 44456789.
Vishing (vishing is a criminal practice of using social engineering over the telephone system to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward. Vishing is derived from a combination of “Voice” & “Phishing”).
Fraudsters are making attempts to take your confidential, personal and financial details from you over the phone call claiming to be a representative of Bank , telecommunication providers or other reputed organisations.
Do not fall prey to such calls and take a few moment to read the below content:
The MOI continuously warns all residents in Qatar - local and expats – to be careful of these scams, and not to keep or share any personal information or banking details online. To verify the authenticity of any messages related to banking information and data, you can contact customer service centres in different banks and financial institutions. In the event of exposure to any fraud, you can contact the Ministry of Interior's Economic and Electronic Crimes Department by visiting its headquarters directly in Duhail area. You can also get in touch with them through the following contact details:
The Communications Regulatory Authority urges residents to share their scam stories related to mobiles, calls or spam at [email protected]
The ILQ team created an awareness video "How to deal with scam calls" and also shared articles such as Watch out for phishing scam in Qatar and Scams in Qatar and how to avoid them so check them out!
How many of these scams have you heard of? Have you or anyone you know been scammed in Qatar? Do you know of any other scams in Qatar we can share? Do let us know. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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