khaleejtimes - 7/12/2018 8:51:03 PM - GMT (+4 )
Deportation scam has reared its head again in the UAE as residents are getting intimidating calls from fraudsters posing as UAE Immigration officials.
The latest victim to fall for the 'deportation threat' is an Indian woman in Abu Dhabi who wired Dh1,800 to "avoid getting thrown out of the country".
"It was an hour-long call, and there were three or four men who spoke to me. They said some immigration papers were missing from my file and they had orders to deport me immediately. They actually sounded like security officials speaking in stern and intimidating manner, and I really got scared," said J.F., who requested not to be identified.
She received the call around 3:40pm on Wednesday and the call records showed the GDRFA's toll free number 800511 were spoofed by the scamsters.
"They said I am blacklisted as per Article No 18 of the Immigration Law. And I will be deported and arrested in Delhi under Article No 20. And the only way to avoid deportation is by wiring Dh1,800 to India to hire a lawyer and get clearance letter from the Indian authorities."
The victim wired the money through the Western Union money exchange and the amount was collected within five minutes.
Several Indian expats were targeted earlier in a similar scam and were asked to wire money to India to avoid deportation.
Some victims have shared their experience on online forums and said they were duped of thousands of dirhams. Many others said they received calls but did not fall for the scam.
The scamsters convince the victims that they are Immigration officials, by asking them to verify their number against that given on the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). They threaten the victims, saying their name is blacklisted by Immigration officials because they have a pending case in India.
Once the victim is convinced, they are given the option of paying money to a lawyer in India, who will help them get a government clearance to avoid arrest and deportation. And people fall for the bogus threat and wire money. The scamsters are suspected to be operating both in the UAE and India as the wired money is collected in India within minutes.
An official from the Indian Consulate in Dubai has warned expats against the 'Immigration Scam'.
"We have received some complaints in the past. But one thing expats have to understand is no Indian authority will contact them directly on their mobile. They will send notice through formal channels or to their permanent address in India."
The official also urged expats to report such matters to the local law enforcement authorities and not to share their personal details over phone.