The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) alerted the financial services community and members of the public on 19 September to a fake letter in which the DFSA and a member of its senior management were impersonated.
The UAE regulator said the fake letter was issued by Abu Dhabi Financial Brokers, citing on their website https://www.abudhabifinancialbrokers.com/, Abu Dhabi Financial Brokers falsely claim to be regulated by the DFSA.
The scammers issued a fake letter which falsely stated that it was sent from the DFSA on behalf of the Ministry of Interior of The Slovak Republic.
The DFSA strongly advises that you do not respond to the perpetrators of the scam, and under no circumstances should you send or give any money to any party connected to the scam."
The fake letter stated that in order for a "Transfer Release Order (TRO)" to be issued for an investment bank to initiate client wire transfer of funds, a National Risk Assessment compliance check is required.
The fake letter further stated that in order to disburse and remit the amount to the client's bank account, the client is required to provide a Foreign Investment Grant Certification (FIGC) within 7 days.
The scammers recommended that a DFSA affiliated fiduciary could be used to obtain the FIGC within the stipulated deadline for a fee of 1%.
In an attempt to authenticate the letter, the scammers also fraudulently used the following without authority:
• the logo, name, address and purported stamp of the DFSA; and
• the name, position held and purported signature of a member of the DFSA's senior management.
The DFSA said in its statement that the letter is fictitious and was not sent out by the DFSA, while also adding:
• Abu Dhabi Financial Brokers is not regulated by the DFSA and is not connected in any way whatsoever with the DFSA;
• Abu Dhabi Financial Brokers has no offices in the DIFC and is not a DIFC company;
•The DFSA does not regulate Firms outside the DIFC; and
•The DFSA does not make recommendations concerning wire transfers or the release of funds.
The DFSA strongly advises that you do not respond to the perpetrators of the scam, and under no circumstances should you send or give any money to any party connected to the scam.
On 5 April 2020 the DFSA issued an alert to consumers warning about an increase in scams and other fraudulent activity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.