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Dubai-based fraudsters target businesses

10th September 2010

Police are advising businesses to be vigilant when receiving orders for products via their online ordering systems.

How does the scam work?

Fraudsters, believed to be located in Dubai, place a large order for products using the online ordering facility of a company’s website. The fraudsters then attempt to overpay the company by a large amount, often in the region of £40,000. They will highlight the deliberate error to the company, asking the company to refund the difference. If the company does make the refund, they later discover that the original payment from the fraudsters has not cleared and they have lost the money they ‘refunded’ to the fraudsters.

Police are advising businesses to look out for the following signs that show fraudsters could be at work:

  • the buyer says they are from Dubai and use a personal Yahoo! email address
  • they usually say they will arrange their own shipping
  • their emails are written in broken English
  • telephone numbers are withheld.

So far businesses in the Highlands area of Scotland have been targeted. As fraudsters move and change the geographical areas they operate in, all UK residents should also be vigilant about this type of fraud. Any UK resident who has lost money to a fraud like this should report it to Action Fraud.

Read more about the Dubai scam on the Northern Constabulary’s website

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.