Ras Al Khaimah ∙ Ras Al Khaimah police have arrested a three-member gang who extorted 1.77 million dirhams (€281,000) from a company online. The fraud involved impersonating representatives of a firm with which the victim company had a prior business relationship.
The company informed the authorities about the incident of e-phishing. It was also informed that the company has suffered a huge financial loss. Explaining the modus operandi of cybercrime, Colonel Tariq said a person changed his identity to contact the victim company via e-mail and finalized an agreement related to their ongoing business dealings. The criminals gained unauthorized access to the company’s e-mail system by hacking into it. They examined the company’s e-mail contents, including purchase documents and banking transactions. When he discovered a sales contract with another company involving significant cash, the perpetrator took immediate action. They created a fraudulent e-mail account that resembled the original domain of the distribution company. The account mimics the supplier’s official communication channel. They wanted all bank transfers for sales through the new account. The company was completing the sales process by transferring the money for the purchase process and waiting for their delivery. Days after completing the deal, the contract was not honored and they received nothing from the distribution company. The company realized that they were victims of online fraud and immediately reached the nearest police station to report the phishing case. Explaining the details of the case, Colonel Tariq Muhammad Bin Saif, Director General of Ras Al Khaimah Police Operations said.
The defendants initially contacted the company through e-mails, misrepresenting themselves as persons related to their existing business dealings and finalizing an agreement. Criminals hacked the company’s e-mail and gained unauthorized access. They examined the company’s e-mail contents, including important documents and banking transactions. He was moving forward immediately when he discovered a sales contract with another company involving a large sum of money. They created a fraudulent e-mail account that resembled the original domain of the distribution company. The account mimics the supplier’s official communication channel. They did all the bank transfers for the sale through the new account. The company completed the sales process by transferring the money for the purchase process and was waiting for their delivery. Days after the deal was completed, the agreement was not fulfilled. They received nothing from the distribution company. The company would have realized that they were victims of online fraud and would have immediately reported the phishing case to the nearest police station.
A team of Investigation Department and Criminal Investigators was formed soon after the case was registered. The accused were soon arrested by a task force trained to deal with online crimes. The suspects were traced in another emirate when a large transaction worth lakhs was noticed from an unknown source into a suspicious bank account. With the cooperation of Dubai Police, a team of RAK Police reached the spot and arrested the criminals. Subsequently, the police handed over the accused to special authorities to initiate legal proceedings against them.
Be careful with bank transactions
The police appealed to the public and business establishments to exercise caution when initiating transactions and bank transfers for agreed amounts with other companies or parties. The identity of company representatives should be verified through telephone conversations or face-to-face meetings before proceeding with any financial transactions.
Things to watch out for
Online fraud can be prevented by closing bank accounts, changing account details, or moving business affairs to new accounts. Ras Al Khaimah Police Commander in Chief Major General Ali Abdullah Bin Alwan Al Nuaimi has warned residents and business owners about the increase in cyber frauds including e-mail phishing.
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