Dubai: Lotteries are gaining wider popularity these days, especially since social media feeds are teeming with news of UAE expatriates becoming overnight millionaires.
However, if you’re one of the avid raffle draw participants, it pays to be vigilant, especially when you finally get a call from someone telling you that you’ve also hit the jackpot you’ve been dreaming about all your life.
According to Dubai Duty Free (DDF), the retailer behind the Millennium Millionaire draw, fraudsters have been doing the rounds and pretending to be representatives of DDF just to con people out of their hard-earned money.
These unidentified individuals randomly contact residents and tell them that they have won $1 million prize money or a luxury vehicle from DDF. The supposed winners, contacted either via email, phone call, Viber or WhatsApp, are then told to share their bank details and send money to claim the reward.
The UAE retailer said that whoever gets contacted by someone supposedly from DDF should first verify the authenticity of the message before doing anything further.
“It has come to our attention that there are a number of inauthentic emails and telephone calls that claim to be from Dubai Duty Free advising individuals that they have won in one of [our] promotions. These inauthentic emails use addresses such as Yahoo, AOL, Gmail,” Dubai Duty Free said in a fraud alert posted on its website.
“If you receive such emails or telephone calls, please refrain from sending any personal details, money or respond in any way.”
A DDF spokesperson told Gulf News that they have been getting calls from customers who have been contacted by fraudsters over the past few years, but it looks like scammers have intensified their efforts recently.
“It does seem to increase in the past year with individuals receiving messages through Viber, IMO, WhatsApp, SMS, calls and other social media.”
To ensure that they are not dealing with a fraudster, raffle draw participants are advised to check the list of actual winners on dubaidutyfree.com or the retailer’s social media page on Facebook or Instagram, with the official account name @DubaiDutyFree. The customer service desk is also on hand to entertain any queries at email@example.com or +97142162453.