Saudi Arabia ranked sixth for safest travel 

Saudi Arabia ranked sixth for safest travel 
Health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people since the outbreak. (SPA)
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Updated 28 November 2020

Saudi Arabia ranked sixth for safest travel 

Saudi Arabia ranked sixth for safest travel 
  • There are approximately 5,000 active cases and the number of recoveries has reached 346,023, with 401 recorded recoveries on Saturday

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has ranked sixth among the safest travel destinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an article published by Wego Travel Blog, called “Safe Places to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the Kingdom was the only Middle East country in the group. Countries were chosen according to an EU methodology for its travel risk assessment.
The classification methodology includes epidemiological criteria, countries’ ability to significantly decrease and stabilize the spread of the virus for a sustained period of time, health system capacity, and centers with large-scale testing capacity to detect and monitor infections.
Saudi Arabia’s COVID-19 mortality rate continues to decrease, with a further 13 deaths on Saturday.
Its daily death count has been decreasing as of late, with fewer than 20 deaths per day since Nov. 12. The total number of deaths recorded in the Kingdom since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 5,870.
There were 220 new cases recorded, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 356,911.

INNUMBERS

356,911 COVID-19 cases

346,023 Recoveries

5,000 Active cases

5,870 Total deaths

There are approximately 5,000 active cases and the number of recoveries has reached 346,023, with 401 recorded recoveries on Saturday. The Kingdom’s recovery rate is 96.9 percent.
Riyadh recorded the highest number of new cases with 55, Jeddah was second with 28, Madinah had 15 cases and Makkah 12. There are 675 patients in critical care units, a decrease from Friday’s 698.
There have been 36,709 PCR tests carried out in the past 24 hours.
Health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak.
Among those testing hubs are Takkad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Takkad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments for either service can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.