money

DIFC impersonated in 'advance fee' scam

Fraudsters offer access to financing, debt insurance, stock trading portfolio

10:36 February 7, 2018
The DIFC Gate building.

Dubai: If you’re looking to invest in stocks, borrow a huge sum of money or network with hundreds of companies, be warned

There’s another scam afoot, and fraudsters are posing as representatives of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). They produce a host of fake documents bearing the DIFC logo and offer consumers access to financing, debt insurance, stock trading portfolio and networking with 2,430 companies worldwide, among others.

In order to access the services, consumers are required to register, provide a passport copy and pay processing fees of $4,600 or nearly Dh17,000 through an agent based in Dubai, London or Mexico.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has advised the public to watch out for this so-called advance fee scam, which is all part of the charade to steal people’s money.

“[The DFSA] alerts the financial services community and the public about an advanced fee scam in which scammers use fraudulent emails and documents purporting to come from the DIFC,” the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The scammers fraudulently offer consumers access to the following services: stock trading portfolio, financing, e-marketing in Dubai, debt insurance, networking with 2,430 companies worldwide and credit cards.”

dfsa

The DFSA has managed to get a hold of the fraudulent papers bearing the DIFC logo, including documents called “funding portfolio registration form” and “fund details and business preface.”

dfsa

And apparently, consumers are being contacted via email through this fake address: difc-reg-office@protonmail.com.

The DFSA pointed out that the DIFC authority does not provide consumers with access to the services offered by the fraudsters, and that all the documents used have not been produced by DIFC.

“The email address does not belong to the DIFC authority and nor does it use any such email address; and scammers have fraudulently used the name of the DIFC, without authority and for a malicious purpose.”