*Public urged to exercise caution while using cards
The Economic and Cyber Crimes Combating Department (E&CCCD) has secured 100% success in arresting all the suspects in credit card and ATM fraud cases since 2011, a senior official told Gulf Times.
“Eliminating such crimes is one of the top priorities of our department and we are proud that action was initiated against the culprits," E&CCCD head Col. Ali Hassan al-Kubaisi said in an interview.
The E&CCCD, under the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation, Ministry of Interior, has good ties with the authorities concerned of MasterCard and VISA, which helped to ensure appropriate action at the earliest, he explained.
The official pointed out that Qatar is witnessing cases of fraudulent cheques that are brought in from outside the country and this affects the economy. The E&CCCD has set up a committee to combat the threat from fraudsters and a comprehensive strategy is in the making for the successful fight against fraudulent cheques.
“By joining hands with various stakeholders, the E&CCCD has formed an exclusive committee that has members from banks and other departments in the country,” al-Kubaisi said.
The department is making use of the services of experts from forensic laboratory and security printing press. “We are helping banks and other institutions to identify fraudulent cheques,” he said.
According to the E&CCCD head, card users become victims of the crime due to limited awareness in dealing with electronic transactions and handling debit and credit cards.
“Users should be vigilant and careful while holding ATM transactions and using credit cards. They should not hand over the cards and share password or PIN to anyone in any case. This prevents criminals from getting details they want for fraud,” he said. In some cases, the department officials have found criminals getting details by scanning credit and debit cards.
The department has recorded various kinds of frauds including skimming, in which criminals place a device deep inside the ATM to record a card’s chip information, and withdraw cash by using stolen debit card numbers.
“Customers should be vigilant while using ATMs and they should inform the department if any kind of irregularity is noted. A variation in sound could be heard if any kind of device is placed inside the ATM,” Col al-Kubaisi said.
The E&CCCD, according to him, has exclusive campaigns in association with the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Interior in order to make the general public, financial institutions and banks aware of the acts committed by fraudsters. “We are carrying out awareness campaigns for banks and exchanges about various kinds of frauds and help them keep vigil against criminals,” he said.
The department also holds regular meetings with officials of banks, exchanges and other financial institutions. Besides, the officials are provided with special training sessions handled by experts from the department. The meetings discuss emerging challenges and financial crimes while training programmes help officials effectively fight crimes. Leaflets are also distributed among the general public while campaigns are carried through media and social media.
Col al-Kubaisi also urged the victims in such cases to communicate directly with the E&CCCD at Al Duhail or call 2347444 or 66815757.
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