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Posted On: 25 January 2019 11:00 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:20 pm

Watch out for phishing scam in Qatar

Leena Chung
Leena Chung
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Phishing

Phishing is a fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. The given information is used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss.

Last year, some of the WhatsApp users have been receiving a message "Qatar Airways is giving two free tickets to every family to celebrate its 25th anniversary".

The fake website's URL used the www.qatarairwąys.com contains the character "ą", instead of "a". Users who enter the fake website were first shown the number of "free tickets" remaining, and asked to take part in a survey and share the link to 15 friends/groups via WhatsApp before they are allowed to "claim" the "free tickets". This fraud site is closed and does not exist any longer.

Qatar Airways scam

Qatar Airways released a statement on their Twitter account quickly alerting the public about the "fake anniversary offer".

Ministry of Transport and Communications also raised an awareness campaign to prevent phishing to the public in Qatar.

phishing in qatar


Common Phishing Attacks

Phishing can be done in many different ways - email, messages or a phone call.

Deceptive Phishing

This is the most common type of phishing scam. Deceptive phishing frequently use threats and a sense of urgency to scare users to share personal information or login credentials

Spear Phishing

A fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.

Pharming

A cyber attack intended to redirect a website's traffic to another, fake site. Pharming can be conducted either by changing the hosts file on a victim's computer or by exploitation of a vulnerability in DNS server software.

How to avoid Phishing?

  • Keep your private information confidential - Never give out sensitive information to anyone
  • Never click on suspicious links within a message
  • Look closely at the spelling of the web address and check for any minor inconsistencies that may indicate a phishing website
  • Report immediately to the organization or industry group

Have you ever encountered phishing in Qatar? Please share this article to raise the awareness to more people!