Call Center to Killers: Anatomy of UAE Cybercrime Syndicate

In the UAE, a large-scale operation targeted cybercrower syndicates resulting in the arrest of hundreds of cybercriminals and the rescue of numerous victims of criminal activity. The investigation by Khaleej Times exposed the entire scheme of fraud.

One of the major operations took place in the emirate of Ajman where security forces raided the Grand Mall shopping center and several residential towers where scammers were operating. Hundreds of suspects were apprehended during the raids in Ajman and other locations in Dubai, including the Rahaba Residences complex in the Dubailand region.

The cybercriminals targeted thousands of individuals, especially immigrants from South Asia and Africa, using deceptive tactics. The fraudulent centers had a hierarchy with call center sales agents at the lower level and experienced scammers at the top.

Sales agents were referred to as “opening players” by their supervisors. They would initiate conversations with potential victims, assign simple tasks like posting reviews on Google or liking videos on YouTube, and follow scripts displayed on their computer screens.

Victims who showed trust and engagement were added to Telegram groups with hundreds of participants where fraudulent schemes were discussed further. The scammers were able to deceive hundreds of individuals daily, celebrating when their illegal earnings exceeded 100,000 dirhams (approximately $27,200) with pre-recorded applause and cheers.

Among the arrested were 37 citizens of Sri Lanka facing charges related to cybercrime and prostitution. They are set to be deported within 2 weeks, with 11 already repatriated and 15 awaiting deportation.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, these cybercriminal syndicates operated in various Asian countries but due to increased scrutiny, they sought refuge elsewhere. The UAE’s operation marks a significant advancement in combating cybercrime and protecting individuals from falling victim to fraudulent schemes.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.