A total of 189 cases were registered in Abu Dhabi by victims of phone scams in the year 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, a top Abu Dhabi police official told Emirates 24|7.
Of these, 142 reports were registered in 2009 and the rest were registered in the first quarter of this year, according to a recent study on phone scams prepared by the Abu Dhabi Police.
The study further shoed that Pakistanis topped the list of phone scams victims in Abu Dhabi, followed by Indians, Bangladeshis, Emiratis, Iranians and Egyptians.
Brigadier Omair Al Muhairi, Deputy Director of Abu Dhabi Police's Operations Department, said that in the 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, phone scams targeted the savings of 25 different nationalities in the capital.
"The sad part is that majority of the victims were educated and holder of high degrees, who are supposed to be more aware of such scams," he said.
He added that the availability of pre-paid SIM cards in shops and groceries made it easier for scamsters to loot the victims.
"Some shops do not make sure of the credibility of SIM cards buyers, or whether these details were genuine or fake. This puts other subscribers in danger of falling victims of such scams."
Lt Col Tariq Al Ghool, the officer in charge of phone scam crime cases in Abu Dhabi Criminal Investigation Department pointed out that according to the study, they were able to find out that most of the SIM cards which were used in such scams were issued in three most populated emirates.
He was also surprised of the repetition of such scams and the increase in the number of victims who fall for such scams.
"Greed is the major cause of them falling for such scams. They must know that no telecommunication company will ask them to transfer credit to any number in return of cash prize."
He also called upon the public to report such scams by calling 02 5088888 or 999.