Scam alert: fake bank operating in Dubai claims to offer easy loans

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The Dubai financial authority has warned residents not to deal with a bogus bank, which claims to offer easy loans in exchange for fees.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) released a public service announcement on Wednesday, alerting the financial services community and the public to a fraudulent scam promoted by “Skyo Microfinance Bank Limited”.

The scam offered “easy loan approvals in exchange for a fee to transfer.”

As part of the scam, Skyo Microfinance Bank Limited asked individuals to transfer a fee to fund an insurance policy against the loan in addition to the administrative fee. It also displayed a fake certificate of incorporation purportedly issued by the DFSA.

In a statement, the DFSA confirmed that it does not issue any certificate of incorporation to any company, business or natural person.

Skyo certificate

The false certificate of incorporation allegedly issued by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
Image Credit: Provided

The fake certificate, which was used by Skyo Microfinance Bank Limited, was posted on the DFSA website to prevent residents from becoming the next victim.

The DFSA urged members of the public not to transfer money to the bogus bank, and also advised against responding to Skyo Microfinance Bank or any other person or company representing the company.

How to avoid scams

Always keep your papers in a safe place. When entering a new type of financial relationship, it is essential to properly store all the documents you receive and to keep records of all your meetings and conversations.

  • Check the website of the relevant regulatory agency to see if the company you are dealing with is listed and regulated. You can contact the regulator to check if the business is regulated.
  • Do a general internet search to verify what information can be found about the company you are dealing with.
  • Only deal with people you trust. Dealing with people you’ve never met comes with a higher risk.
  • Get independent advice before closing a deal, or get a second opinion from a trusted friend.
  • Use common sense.

Suspicious behavior

Watch out for telltale signs of a scam, such as people who:

  • Communicate by email and phone only with reluctance or refusal to meet in person.
  • Always reluctant or refuse to provide information on who regulates their activity.
  • Uses a generic email address such as Hotmail and Yahoo.

Source: Dubai Financial Services Authority

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