Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- Fraudulent acts carried out against Saudi citizens via e-mail and telephone calls are on the rise despite warnings issued by Saudi authorities. Many have fallen victim to foreign scams out of curiosity resulting in financial loss.
These e-mails and telephone calls refer to the deaths of various African leaders whose heirs have not received their share of inheritance. The fraudster would then ask the victim for their bank account details supposedly to enable him to deposit part of the inheritance into that bank account.
Fraudsters have since developed their methods and have now incorporated magic and sorcery into their scams as they tell their victims that they have had a spell cast upon them by some of their acquaintances, which the con artist would remove for a charge.
A number of people who have received these calls have dismissed them immediately. Dr Mansour Bin Abdul Rahman, a professor of sociology in Imam Mohamed Bin Saud Islamic University told Asharq Al-Awsat that he had received one of these calls from somebody who spoke fluent Arabic and informed the professor that he had been cursed by a colleague. The caller said that he could reverse the spell for a sum of money to be transferred to a bank account in Mali. The professor was also told that he would be informed of who had cast the spell upon him. Dr Abdul Rahman stated, "I was so overwhelmed by the idea that somebody had placed a curse on me that I was close to falling for the scam." The professor ended the telephone conversation immediately.
Mohammed Al-Assary received a similar telephone call but was aware of the fraudulent acts. He called for more warnings to be issued saying, "The financial losses that these fraudsters cause to Saudis must come to an end." He added that anyone subjected to this crime should report it to the authorities so that the necessary procedures can be taken. He further stated that the authorities responsible for dealing with such crimes should cooperate with similar authorities all over the world to tackle these criminal acts.