A newlywed couple was scammed on Facebook after the wife was given a “fake” visa and deported from the Dubai International Airport, Gulf News reported.
They ran into unexpected trouble after the wife’s visa was checked at the airport, who had come to the United Arab Emirates to live with her husband who was already living in there.
Upon investigation, it was revealed the woman’s visa not valid.
The couple had acquitted the document from an ad page on Facebook, which offered UAE visas, according to Brigadier Mohammad Rashid Bin Sari Al Muhairi, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation Department of Dubai Police.
The couple, reportedly Arab, has already paid Dh4,000 ($1,089) to the scammers for the “visa.”
The husband contacted the page admin after he saw the advertisement on Facebook. He later wired his wife’s documents to the admin, who posed as a government official on call. The two made a deal for Dh7,000 for the visa and the first installment of Dh4,000 was sent to a man in Fujairah.
When his wife was sent back to her country, the victim lodged a complaint against the scammer.
“The victim lodged a complaint and presented a receipt for the wired money. We arrested the Arab suspect who led us to his accomplice. Both confessed that they were assisting a third suspect who was staying outside the country and was running the Facebook page for visa seekers,” Brigadier Al Muhairi said.
The two Arab suspect told authorities they would sometimes charge the victims upto Dh9,000 and wire the money to the page administrator who resided in another Gulf country.
Lt Col Omar Mohammad Bin Hammad, deputy director of the Anti-Economic Crime Department at Dubai Police, said they had received similar numerous complaints regarding the same conmen.
“The main suspect was an Arab man who used to work in the UAE. He used a special software to call his victims and the number that showed up on their phones was a landline number of a government institution. When the victims called back, they would be directed to the answering machine of the actual government institution which led them to believe the service was genuine and not a scam,” Lt Col Bin Hammad said.
Upon investigation, the authorities recovered Dh40,000 (USD10,890) and receipts for money that had been wired by the victims. After the arrests, other individuals mentioned in the receipts were informed of the elaborate scam. They had been waiting for their visas for months.
“There is a warrant against the third suspect who is living in a Gulf country. Both suspects have been referred to Dubai Public Prosecution to complete the investigation,” Lt Col Bin Hammad said.
Online scam for visa is an easy way to extort money from innocent individuals. This case is one of many such incidents where people are looted off thousands of dollars with fake promises of visa issuance.
“People should go to official channels or authorized visa and tourist companies to get UAE visas. Social media pages run by unknown people cannot be trusted. They are scammers willing to con people and get their money,” Brigadier Al Muhairi said.
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