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884 Scam Pages Unearthed In $280K Global Investment Scam

Links to the pages were shown in Facebook ads purchased by fraudsters, who lured users into making fake investments in market-leading companies.

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884 scam pages unearthed in $280k global investment scam

Group-IB, a global cybersecurity firm working alongside the UAE Cybersecurity Council, has published new research outlining an international fake investment scam that significantly impacted social media users in the Middle East.

Experts from Group-IB’s Digital Risk Protection team discovered 884 scam pages with traffic coming from Facebook advertisements purchased by the fraudsters. The social media campaign offered users the opportunity to invest in one of 35 market-leading firms, including legitimate financial, insurance, transportation, oil, gas, and construction companies.

fake investment scam middle east uncovered

Group-IB researchers found English, Arabic, and Spanish Facebook ads. In Arabic-language advertisements, scammers enticed individuals with bold claims that they could “earn millions” by investing “a mere $200” amount.

If a user clicked on an ad, they were redirected to a scam page containing legitimate branding from a prominent company, along with a request for their name, email address, and phone number.

After filling out the form, users would receive daily emails claiming to be from a trading portal. Users would be urged to deposit funds into the fake trading account to begin buying stocks. The scammers would even resort to phone calls if a user didn’t respond. The elaborate con also requested bank details, ID, and passport copies.

Also Read: The Largest Data Breaches In The Middle East

“Retail investing is becoming increasingly popular among individuals who are looking for ways to diversify their income. This particular scam is notable as the cybercriminals leverage multiple communication channels, such as email and direct phone calls, as part of their social engineering efforts. We urge individuals to never share personal information or money with third parties unless you are certain of their legitimacy,” said Sharef Hlal, Head of Group-IB’s MEA Digital Risk Protection Analytics Team.

In total, 60% of the scam pages targeted users from the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Based on Group-IB’s research, the criminal campaign is thought to have caused $280,000 in financial damages between March and June 2023.

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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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