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03 Sep 2020, 09:00 am

DFSA and Other Authorities Impersonated in a Scam

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) warns the financial services community and members of the public of a scam in which the DFSA, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority, and the DIFC Courts are impersonated.  Also impersonated were a legitimate financial institution based in the DIFC (the Financial Institution) and other legitimate UAE and overseas authorities.

The scammers impersonated the Financial Institution by contacting consumers and claiming that the Financial Institution was instructed by its “inbound transaction department” to remit funds of USD 2,500,000 to the consumer’s account.  However, the scammers advised the consumer, using false documents purporting to be from a number of agencies and authorities, that the transfer of the funds had been put “on hold”.  The scammers asked the consumer to pay the following “clearance fees” for the funds to be released:

  • INR16,000 to one legitimate UAE government authority;
  • USD1,200 to another legitimate UAE government authority; and
  • USD500 (INR38,500) to another legitimate UAE government authority.

The scammers used the following fake documents as part of the scam:

  • A false letter from the DFSA. A copy can be found here.
  • A false letter from the DIFC Authority. A copy can be found here.
  • A false letter from the DIFC Courts. A copy can be found here.
  • False letters from the Financial Institution. Copies can be found here.
  • False letters from a number of legitimate overseas and UAE authorities. Copies can be found here.

The DFSA informs you that:

  • the DFSA does not issue approval letters related to clearance of funds;
  • the DIFC Courts and the DIFC Authority do not issue approvals for offshore payment settlements; and
  • all of the false letters appear to have been produced for a fraudulent and malicious purpose.

The DFSA also informs you that legitimate overseas and UAE authorities do not generally:

  • contact consumers in relation to financial transactions which the consumers have not requested; and
  • issue authorisation letters related to such financial transactions.

The DFSA has a page on its website dedicated to alerts which it has issued about scams. All alerts issued by the DFSA may be accessed by going to: ALERTS

The DFSA has also issued warnings and guidance about the common types of scams perpetrated on consumers. For more information on these scams, please go to: HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED

The DFSA encourages consumers to refer to the list of regulated Firms and Authorised Individuals licensed by the DFSA that is available on the DFSA's: PUBLIC REGISTER

If you have any concerns about the authenticity of any correspondence or documents that purport to be issued by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), DFSA or a DFSA regulated Firm, you should direct your concerns to the DIFC on Tel:+971 4 362 2222 and to the DFSA via the DFSA Complaints function on: COMPLAINTS 

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