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24 Oct 2023, 11:16 am | Regulator or Authority Impersonation

Fake Letters Impersonating the DFSA and members of the DFSA’s Senior Management

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) alerts the financial services community and members of the public to a series of fake letters in which the DFSA, and members of the DFSA’s senior management were impersonated.

This is an advanced fee scam, in which the scammers claiming to be the DFSA, contacted a member of the public and sent a series of letters purportedly from the DFSA’s Chairman and Chief Executive. The first letter is titled “Notice for Regulatory Approval and Authorization of a Bank Instrument (Bank Draft) Valued at US$3,000,000” The letter states:

“…the Logistic Firm…would proceed with the shipment of the bank instrument immediately it is Approved and Authorised.

To secure Approval and Authorisation, an amount of US$18,950 must be paid to the DFSA Regulatory Body”

A further letter was sent to the member of the public with the same title. This letter states:

“…the DFSA Authorization and Approval Certificate is now ready for endorsement…we therefore demand the physical presence of both parties (The Bank and the Beneficiary) to the DFSA headquarters…”

An additional letter was then sent by the scammers with the title REQUEST TO COME ALONG WITH THE ENDORSEMENT/STAMP DUTY CHARGESThe letter states;

“…with your readiness to travel…take note of the following requirements…

Stamp Duty Fees = US$13,231

Endorsement Fees = US$24,482

Also take note that…Mr Ali Salafi would be meeting you…He has little to no information about the process, his mandate is ensuring the document are securely delivered to you and that it is properly signed and returned for final endorsement.”

A final letter was sent with the title RE: REQUEST TO COME TO DUBAI WITHOUT THE ENDORSEMENT AND STAMP DUTY CHARGES”. The letter states;

“…without fully completing the procedures of endorsement, payment of stamp duty and appropriately handing of the Authorization and Approval Certificate, duly CERTIFIED to the name beneficiary, the bank instrument (Bank Draft) would not be allowed to be shipped out of the country UAE.”

In an attempt to make the scam seem authentic, the scammers fraudulently used the DFSA logo and the names, positions held and purported signatures of members of the DFSA’s senior management without permission.

The DFSA informs you that:

  • The letters are false, fraudulent and were not sent by the DFSA;
  • The DFSA does not provide regulatory approval or authorisation for bank drafts;
  • Does not require that members of the public pay Stamp Duty or Endorsement fees and
  • The DFSA does not facilitate the transfer of financial instruments to members of the public

The DFSA strongly advises you not to respond to any communications regarding this scam, and under no circumstances should you send or give any money to any party connected to the scam.

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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