Saudi Arabia feels the chill as cool weather sweeps over regions

Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
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Updated 05 December 2020

Saudi Arabia feels the chill as cool weather sweeps over regions

Authorities  have warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred. (SPA)
  • The northern deserts of the Kingdom have seen a significant amount of rainfall in the past couple of weeks

JEDDAH: It is no secret that the Kingdom’s cities are breathing in the cool air as the late autumn breeze sweeps the nation, making the climate welcoming for all.
Though overwhelmingly arid, as the autumn season draws to a close and the Kingdom welcomes winter, residents have been venturing out to enjoy much-needed relief after months of lockdown and the dry heat that has swept the nation in the past few months.
In the southern region, rainfall has covered the mountainous regions of Asir, Najran, Jazan and their nearby plains in green and created streams, prompting residents to spend their time enjoying the weather while also attracting visitors.
“In all my years, I’ve never visited any of the areas in Saudi but I did so for the first time this year. I visited and camped out in a cave in Al-Baha for the first time a few months ago after the lifting of the lockdown,” Rahaf Mahmoud told Arab News. “I’ve never even thought of discovering my country until now and seeing how peaceful and green the land and forests are has made me plan a visit this week and relax.”
“Who knew I could find an escape so close to home,” she said.
On the coastal plains of the western region, city folk are taking advantage of the sun’s heat during the day as they head to beaches, spending the morning swimming and fishing while in the evening they enjoy barbecues — kababs, chicken and corn with a side of rice.
“That’s the Jeddah way,” said Maha A.R. from Jeddah. “We have the perfect beach weather, humidity is low, a cool breeze cooling the waters and hot sun to keep us warm enough. Nothing like a good busy day to get us hungry for a night of relaxing by the seaside, enjoying the cool evenings with good food, good company and tea brewed over hot coals.”
The northern deserts of the Kingdom have seen a significant amount of rainfall in the past couple of weeks, with occasional hail appearing in some areas.
Although winter is coming and residents are airing their winter gear, Saudi Arabia’s civil defense and its meteorology authority has issued weather warnings in the Kingdom and warned people to take precautions and avoid areas where torrents have occurred.


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.