Beware of these 11 Scams in Dubai & UAE

Beware of these 11 Scams in Dubai & UAE

Scammers in Dubai / UAE has been very creative in coming up with different types of scams to scam residents and tourists out of their money. It is essential to be vigilant towards these types of scams to protect yourself and your money.

List of Scams

Fat shaming & Baldness / herbal scam in Meena Bazar, Bur Dubai

While walking around in Meena Bazaar area, someone will approach you and be friendly and tell you that you are fat for your age and you can look smart by reducing the weight. They will engage you in discussion about weight reduction and finally recommend a good herbal store nearby which sells really working cure for fat. They will introduce you to the shop and tell you the pricing of the rare herbs and then let you handle the rest with the shop keeper and disappear. The shopkeeper will mix the herbs into a paste and quote a price that is way higher than what you initially agreed because the portions used are more than the quoted price. People not wanting to get into arguments with these shopkeepers pay up upto 300dh. Ideal way to avoid such scammers is to tell them that your weight is none of their business.

Stranded travellers from Oman / Saudi Arabia in cars with family

While waiting for bus or taxi or in hotel parking, people in cars will approach you with their family (kids/wife/parents) in their cars, usually with cars from Saudi Arabia or Oman. They will tell you that their car broke down and they had to spend all their money on fixing the car and need money to go back to their own country. They sometimes ask for money to repair their car in addition to fuel. Easily, they scam people for few hundreds of dirhams. They will be doing the same scam next day at the same location or at some other place in UAE. These types of scams were reported by multiple people in Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi.


Beggars with visibly horrible looking wounds

These type of beggars will approach you and ask for money for treatments, usually near bus stops or metro stations. They will have a horrible looking wound under bandages and ask for money for treatment and food and say that they came as tourist and got wounded and have nobody else to help. People take pity and easily pay these people. But these wounds are usually made with make-up materials and are not actually real. Furthermore, Rashid hospital in Dubai provides free treatment to tourists if they have a serious issue. Better to advise such people to approach Rashid hospital instead of giving them money.

Expensive Armani / Italian Suit Sellers in Cars

Armani suit scammers will approach you with a story that they are about to leave Dubai and want to finish off their stock as they cannot take the suits back. They will offer the suits at a very discounted prices. For example, they propose to sell AED 1000+ worth of suit for AED 300 as they are in urgency to leave. But these suits are actually really cheap suits which were labelled as Armani for this deception. Next time such people approach you, just tell them that you are not interested.

Mobile Phone sellers approaching you on the roads / parks

The scammers approach you with a really nice modern phone and tell you that they are in some serious money trouble and want to sell their expensive phone at a throw away price. Usually, such phones are stolen ones and will land you in serious trouble with the police. Sometimes, they will switch the phone with another one after you finalize the negotiations and handover the money and disappear in the crowd. And any contact number they provide will be fake. And any bill that they produce will also be fake. It is best to just say “no thank you” and just walk away from scammers.

Raffle Winner Scam

This is a very common scam where you will either receive a sms, email, whatsapp message or a phone call stating that you have won a huge prize amount. Typically, the scammers will say that you won in an automatic raffle from Du or Etisalat or from one of the shopping festival raffles. They will spoof phone numbers of official contact numbers of Du or Etisalat and call you from those numbers to make it look legit. Finally they will ask you to either send them money via recharge vouchers of prepaid mobile numbers worth hundreds or thousands of dirhams or sometimes by western union, in order to claim the prize money. Once you send in the money, they will disappear. Du or Etisalat do not run any automatic raffles. If it sounds too good to be true, it always is.

House / Apartment Rental Scam

Scammers setup Holiday home rental companies and approach landlords and promise them hefty rental payments paid in 3 or 4 instalments, for example promising AED60K rental for a AED50K rental property. They then annually rent out the apartments to tenants for AED30K or AED40K in single cheque payments. They collect such cheques from a number of tenants, then  shut shop and run away. Tenants and house owners both get duped and end up in courts fighting over their money which nobody can refund. The safe way is to always sign agreements with house owners and provide cheques only in the name of the house owners. In fact, real estate companies are forbidden to take cheques on behalf of house owners by RERA.

Vouchers, Discount coupons or Tickets from Dubizzle

This scam has been widely documented and a very common type of scam. You buy a discount coupon or a cash voucher or tickets from people on Dubizzle’s Vouchers section. When you actually try to encash or use the voucher or ticket, it will not work as it is a fake. Certain times, the tickets are bought using stolen credit cards and you will be caught at the entrance while trying to use the ticket. Typically, when you try to reach them about your problem, they will disappear or block your calls.

Massage card scam

Massage cards a serious menace in most places in Dubai and UAE. Scammers advertise a massage parlour service at your location or at their apartment. They actually steal the money and threaten the patrons and take off with the money. People typically refrain from complaining to police because they themselves are trying to avail an illegal service. Some people still come out and report the theft by these massage card scammers, which is how we are aware that such a scam exists. If you find massage cards in your car windshield, just dispose them in a dustbin. Disposing them on the roads is considered as littering and could lead to a littering fine.

Police coming to arrest you “scam”

You will receive a phone call from the scammer that they are calling from the police station and are coming to your location to arrest you as there has been a case filed against you for bringing drugs into the country. They offer to let you off if you immediately pay a bribe to the caller to let you go off the case. People usually panic as the scammers talk in a very authoritative voice like real police. They might also send some fake document on Whatsapp regarding the offence to convince you. The bribe money that they request is usually high since the stakes are high. Ideal way to be clear of such scams is to call back to the actual police call center and report these scammers. Read more.

Another version is where the scammers ask you to pay a fine directly to them or through exchange for doing something illegal.

“Your Card has been blocked” scam

You will receive a whatsapp message or sms stating that your bank account or debit card has been blocked and that you need to verify your account details to unblock the card. You will be asked to call back a certain number to complete the verification process. The scammers will ask you for your debit card PIN and number details and will steal the money in your account using the same. Do not trust any such messages from unknown persons. If in doubt, call your bank directly using the number on your card and check if there is any issue with your bank account.

Have you seen any of these scams in person?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Do you know of any other scam not listed above? Please leave a comment below and we will add it to our list.

Share this page!


    This incident happened to my fiance today, 14 April 2021.
    This happened when he was about to left at the parking area of a commercial building in Business bay, Dubai at 1:00PM, when an Italian looking guy with Italian accent, approached him, maybe on his 50’s or 60’s, wore a descent business attire. Since he is working as a coffee supplier (Italian origin) they just discussed about it since he claimed he is an Italian. Afterwards, he mentioned about the branded suits he is selling “EMPORIO ARMANI COLLEZIONE” and even handed his business card, he came by the name of Antonio (Manager). He keeps on insisting him to buy it for 1500 AED only Buy 1 Take 1 because he is about to go back to Italy for vacation and he wants it to be sold immediately.
    He keeps on bugging my fiance to buy it and convinced him to pay whatever amount he has in his pocket. Good thing he only got 230 AED in cash, after getting the cash he quickly put the suit in the back of his car and left. He informed me and realized he was scammed after he checked the suit. The fabric is not as nice as other branded suits he owned before. So, I tried to send them an email as per his business card and the email bounced back to me. I also learned that this Italian suit scam has been here in Dubai since 2010 (as per some forums/groups I found on the internet)
    I hope you can help me to disseminate this information to the public for the awareness. Thanks guys

  2. Dears,
    There is a fake massage centre in this building Block A.
    Dont fall for the trap where they ask you to buy du card for 200 Dhs and send it to them.
    There is a team of guys from Uganga who plays tricks with people who asks for massage.
    Once you send them a pic of the du card, then they will not pick your call.
    I got cheated by them for a silly mistake.

  3. Armani suit scammer driving black Kia Sportage Dubai plates S 10579 .. lost trying to get to airport … but knew his way around Dubai Marina. Gifts for helping him find his way to airport:
    Emporiun suits, Prada bag, watches, fragrance
    Needed help with tax.
    Total scammer. Beware, very convincing.

  4. Yes, I just came across an Armani suit guy yesterday, who introduced himself as Savio with his business card as a Manager. He stopped his car and first asked me for the direction to the airport, while I was walking on the sidewalk and he was driving past. He then insisted me on taking a free Armani suit from him, which he said was a sample he used for his exhibition. He did not want to take it back to Italy as he would be charged duty. Sensing something wrong, I politely declined and walked away. Please stay away from these soulless scammers.

    1. Hi Shaheen,

      Thank for your information. Please be aware of these and stay safe. Please share if anybody had this kind of experience through the comment.

      support team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.