Bank to pay Dh9.5 million compensation in a fraud
In a landmark decision, Dubai Court of Cessation ordered a UAE-based bank to pay AED 9.5 million as compensation to a customer who lost his hard-earned money in a SIM card swap fraud. The fraud came to light when the brother of the aggrieved customer made a complaint that numerous unauthorised transactions over the value of AED 9.5 million were reported in a span of 32 days. The court, in its detailed ruling, find the bank and the telecommunication company jointly and collectively liable for this fraud.
In this article, we will discuss the laws surrounding bank fraud in UAE with the help of our best lawyers of Dubai.
Factual matrix of the case
In 2015, the customer gave a power of attorney to his brother to handle all the bank related transactions on his behalf. The age and nationality of the customer is not revealed till now. In 2018, the brother came to know that more than AED 9.5 million has been transferred from his account within a period of 32 days. The most disturbing thing was that the bank didn’t even notify the customer about the series of transactions.
In this fraud, money was taken out on 49 different transfers using mobile banking app and other online services. The perpetrator of fraud only left AED 36 in the bank account. It was very interesting to note that the mobile phone service of the customer was suspended for that very month. During the investigation, it was revealed that fraudster had submitted a SIM card replacement request to the telecommunication company of the victim’s mobile number that was registered with the bank.
What is SIM swap fraud?
In the opinion of our best lawyers of Dubai, this type of fraud involves an account takeover where the fraudster gets a new SIM card in the customer’s name by using his personal details. After getting a SIM, the scammer gets all the financial sensitive information of the customer, such as OTP, password of internet banking profile, etc which are very much sufficient to commit such kind of fraud.
Here, getting the personal details of the customer is a key factor. Banks and the telecommunication companies are responsible to protect the data of customers. In case, such data is leaked, they are directly and consequentially liable to compensate all the loss occurred to the customers.
Talking from a legal viewpoint, our top lawyers of Dubai said that Article 120 of Federal Law No. (14) of 2018 clearly fixes a liability on the banks and financial institutions to keep the personal information of the customer including residency address, contact number, etc. with utmost care and caution.
How to protect from SIM swap fraud?
- At the outset, if you are not receiving any information about your banking related activities, contact your mobile operator immediately.
- Avoid sharing your personal details on internet or social media platforms.
- Check your bank statement regularly, and in case of any discrepancy, contact your bank immediately.
- It is advisable to change your PIN on regular basis.
Our best lawyers of Dubai have cautioned that there is an alarming rise in such kinds of frauds. Though the law fixes the collective responsibility of bank and telecommunication company against such kinds of incidents, it is very important for a customer to be vigilant. If you are subject to a fraud, it is strongly advisable to immediately contact one of our best lawyers of UAE for timely assistance.
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