DFSA alert on advance fee frauds

Victims lured by access to fictitious loans

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the independent regulator of financial services and related activities for the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has once again alerted members of the public and financial services community of “advanced fee” scams by individuals claiming to be DIFC agents or associates.

In an alert issued today, the DFSA said that such individuals were using documents that bear the DIFC letterhead, and were falsely advising victims on available funds or fictitious loans, which they claimed could be accessed by the victims after registration with the DIFC, for which a fee is required.

“False DIFC documents, bearing the DIFC letterhead are used by the individuals to legitimise the fraudulent activity,” the DFSA said in the alert, warning people and companies to not fall for such fraudulent claims. “Such activities are Advance Fee scams,” the DFSA noted in its alert.

The DFSA emphasized that individuals and companies check the DFSA’s and the DIFC’s public registers to confirm the authenticity of firms or individuals claiming to be in contact or associated in any way with the DFSA or the DIFC.

“The DFSA informs you that neither the DFSA nor the DIFC levies any fees in respect of loans, investments or for access to funds,” it added. “The DFSA, therefore, strongly advises you to be very wary of firms who claim to be charging such fees which are payable to the DIFC,” it cautioned.

“Neither the DIFC nor the DFSA approves transactions made by authorised firms or individuals on behalf of clients. If you receive a DIFC form advising you that such a fee is required by the DIFC, please do not respond to the communication. Report the incident directly to us using the DFSA complaints function on our website,” the alert noted.

In case of any concerns about the authenticity of a firm’s regulatory status, or any DFSA correspondence, the authority advised public to direct your concerns by calling the DFSA on +971 4 362 1576.

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