Doha: The Ministry of Interior (MoI) yesterday issued an advisory cautioning people against responding to emails and text messages from unknown sources. Senders of such messages and mails request the receivers to help them by transferring money.
“Be careful to protect yourself from fraud on the Internet by not responding to random e-mails coming from unknown sources. Some fraudsters are using WhatsApp (an application to send messages through mobile phones) to cheat people, seeking help through messages,” the ministry said yesterday on Twitter.
“The message contains picture and video requesting help and money transfer. We advise all citizens and expatriates not to respond to such mails and messages from unknown sources and immediately inform security agencies,” it said.
In case anyone in Qatar receives such mails or messages, they should e-mail the ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraudsters use phone calls, emails, and other methods to obtain personal information, then use it to commit identity theft. Usually an email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery company arrives. It informs the receiver that he/she has won a lot of money or a prize in a lottery competition. The receiver is urged to keep this information private or confidential for security or to stop other people from getting their ‘prize’ by mistake.
The receiver is usually asked to pay some fees to get his winnings released.
The scammers often say these fees are to cover insurance costs, government taxes, bank fees or courier charges.