Telecom companies warn customers against mobile scams

Updated 26 September 2013

Telecom companies warn customers against mobile scams

Expatriates are claiming to have fallen victim to a mobile phone scam, losing thousands of riyals. The scam, they say, was a fake SIM card lottery promising a potential SR200,000 in cash prizes.
Mobile scamsters usually target low-income expatriates and try to get hold of their bank details and iqama numbers.
Ashok Jha, a Nepalese worker living in the Kingdom, says he was deceived into transferring pre-paid phone credit worth SR900.
“I was told not to tell anyone about the lottery and that my SIM card would be locked if I did,” says Jha.
“The caller sounded very convincing at the beginning, but I became suspicious after I had paid for recharge pin numbers worth SR900. I then confronted the caller. He hung up at once and I lost my money.”
Subscribers are deceived into transferring mobile phone credit to participate in fake lotteries and often give away their bank accounts and other confidential details. Conmen usually claim they are calling from a Gulf country.
They then go on to hoodwink the customer into winning a draw after enquiring about their nationality. Conmen win over the trust of clients by reading out their exact SIM card serial number.
“My husband fell prey to such a call just last month,” says Celia Damien, a Filipino nurse at a reputed hospital in the Kingdom. “The caller said that my husband won SR200,000 in a SAWA lucky draw. He had called from mobile number 0533915561.
He then gave a coupon number and a lottery number, requesting my husband to purchase a SR1,200 SAWA recharge card, and read out the pin to him so he can give a check number, promising to call back.”
Damien added that they became suspicious because they didn’t have to purchase any card for recharge to win a draw and they had not received any official message from STC. “We also verified this on the Internet and spoke to Al-Rajhi bank. We then came to the conclusion that it was a scam.”
Mobile users are cautioned against falling prey to such scams and revealing any personal information to unknown callers and are advised to authenticate any claim by calling the company straight away.
The STC recently sent out a text message to its subscribers warning them of such fraudulent calls and admonishing their methods of stealing money.

Nawaf Bin Saad Al Shalani, general manager of corporate communication at STC, said in a statement last year that customers should not respond to these callers and that they should not reveal their personal information through phone calls or text messages, he said.

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019

High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.