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Keep safe distance from fraudsters

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The Royal Oman Police and other competent authorities have urged mobile phone users to be vigilant as fraudsters across the globe, including in the Sultanate of Oman, are constantly finding new ways to exploit people for financial gain, especially by scamming people out of their hard-earned money. Cybercrimes often cause enormous financial and material losses for the victims as well as the economy.

ROP has warned of a method in which fraudsters communicate with targeted people via text messages offering jobs with a specific daily salary.

The recipient of these messages is required to open bank accounts through which sums of money resulting from various fraud operations are transferred and then re-transferred to external bank accounts. ROP advised everyone not to respond to these fraudulent messages and the need to report immediately when exposed to such situations.

“I received a WhatsApp message saying that my number has been picked by Meta (Facebook owner) as an online assistant, whereby I can earn up to RO 200-300 per day,” said a Bangladeshi expatriate who managed to escape being a victim on advice from his boss.

According to experts, individuals can be victims of various types of fraud, including financial loss and leak of personal information, that is carried out by sending messages via e-mails or social media, including WhatsApp.

The main intention of fraudsters is to get individuals to reveal sensitive information such as bank account details, passwords, or other personal information that could be exploited for illegal purposes. Recently, the Directorate-General of Criminal Investigation at the Royal Oman Police (ROP) detected a new criminal method via the Imo app through an account bearing ROP’s logo and targeting citizens and residents.

The conman tells the victims that they were involved in violations that should be settled by providing their bank account information which the fraudster later used to withdraw cash from their accounts. ROP, which advises citizens and residents not to disclose their personal or bank account information on social media, has been working on an anti-fraud public awareness campaign to tackle instances of cyber fraud.

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