MoFAIC, ADP warn travellers of cybercrimes, e-fraud

Dubai, Jul 30 (Emirates 247): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MoFAIC, and the General Command of Abu Dhabi Police, ADP, have urged Emirati citizens to take precautions during the travelling season to ensure their safety and that of their possessions, as part of the "Safe Travel Campaign."

Rashid Ali Al Dhaheri, Director of the National Affairs Department at MoFAIC, said that UAE missions abroad issue an emergency passport for citizens who have lost their passport abroad, and in cases of damage or expiry, evacuation during crises, and for those born abroad.

''The ICAO-accredited emergency passport, the first of its kind in the Arab World, is valid for six months and its holder can re-enter the state easily,'' he stated.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Police has urged those travelling abroad to take utmost care and caution when using e-shopping, withdrawing cash from the ATMs, and shopping at commercial centres.

''Buyers should not disclose - in any circumstances - their pin code and personal details of their credit cards and always deal with reliable e-sites to avoid being subject to fraud and piracy,'' warned Colonel Omran Ahmed Al Mazrouie, Acting-Director of the Criminal Investigation Department,ADP.

He stated that the Abu Dhabi Police has dealt with repeated reports of travellers falling victims to fraud, especially through their bank accounts or credit cards. He also advised travellers to check the security features of safe e-shops that start with (https) and ensure that the buying process is through secured networks and accessed through secret codes so as to block any piracy through their mobile phones or laptops.

''Credit card data should be stored safely and pin codes should be frequently changed. It is better to have a dedicated credit card with limited balance for e-shopping,'' he stated.

He also called for using an antivirus software when e-shopping.

''Payment data should not be sent through email and money should not be sent or received from unknown persons. Personal data should always be protected when dealing with money transfer, booking air tickets, hotel rooms or entertainment or tourism destinations," he further explained.

He said the police should be called in case of any risk arising from suspicious persons who try to offer help at night without any reason.

Major Khaled Al Neyadi, Head of Cybercrimes, warned against losing or throwing the plane boarding cards and e-codes for home or hotel doors as they carry secret personal data.

''Boarding cards should be destroyed immediately after travel and should not be circulated on social media for bragging so as to avoid privacy breach," he said.

The campaign urged community members to cooperate with the ADP, by passing on security information to its Aman phone service on "8002626," or by SMS to "2828," or by communicating directly with MoFAIC or the UAE’s mission on "0097180044444."

He also called on people who wish to travel to register on the "Twajudi" service and the ministry’s official website, http://www.mofa.gov.ae, or its smart application, UAEMOFA, to enable the ministry and its missions abroad to communicate with them in cases of emergencies and crises during their travels, as well as to offer them assistance.