Bid to smuggle out vehicles foiled, six held

The Royal Oman Police on Monday issued an alert, asking both citizens and residents to refrain from sharing details of their bank account or forwarding funds online to companies or people they do not know.

“Ignore all incoming social media calls and messages claiming to be from a communication company, a bank or a famous person requesting your personal data, PIN number and deceiving that you have won a prize in cash or kind or offering financial help”, the ROP posted a notice in its twitter handle.

The warning follows, busting of a gang that attempted to smuggle out vehicles from the Sultanate after signing fake sale contracts with citizens using digital platforms.

The General Department of Investigations and Criminal Investigations on Monday arrested six persons on the charges of committing electronic fraud, and managed to retrieve 38 vehicles before they were being smuggled out of the Sultanate.

According to the ROP statement, the accused, after forming a commercial establishment, signed fake agreements with a number of citizens for renting their vehicles.

“Using middlemen, the fraudsters later tried to sell the vehicles to others by signing fake sale agreements through electronic outlets in a bid to smuggle them out of the country”, the statement said.

The current alert is part of a series of warnings from the police as reports are again emerging of platforms snooping on people’s online activities amid the coronavirus situation.

Fraudsters gain control of a person’s bank account, in what is popularly known as phishing, by tricking people either by way of prizes that they won or attractive sale offers. They may also convince them into forwarding some money by pretending to be from a legitimate company, government office or retailer

While calling on citizens and residents to be careful about fraudulent companies or individual scammers, the ROP said, “do not be lured into the offers from fraudsters, but be careful when buying and selling vehicles through websites”.

It urged to call on Hotline for Directorate General of Inquiries and Criminal Investigations at 800777444, if any phishing activity is noticed.